Niagara Gazette

Opinion

September 29, 2012

LETTERS TO THE ISLAND: Getting after bad grammar

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

•••

HELP WANTED

: From a local feature story, Sept. 2012 – “What’s a parent to do when their child reaches for candy at the checkout?” For one thing, tell the brat never to match a plural pronoun (their) with a single noun (parent.) The language needs a slap on the wrist, too, for failing to provide a gender-neutral singular pronoun. Try either “What’s a parent to do when A child reaches…” or “What are parents to do when THEIR child…” Trick or treat.

•••

INITIALLY INCORRECT

: From Associated Press, August 2012 – “The dispatch from President Harry S. Truman’s Navy secretary said…” We were going to give ‘em hell, as the 33rd President’s middle initial stands for nothing, a compromise involving two relatives whose names both began with “S.” Strictly speaking, he’s Harry S Truman (no period), but he himself punctuated it several times in signatures, and that’s good enough for us.

Come visit. Bring some bad examples.

Reply to pollyndoug@hotmail.com

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