Grammar isn't everything

cuchuflete

Senior Member
EEUU-inglés
A 65-year-old Californian woman has saved the life of her husband, 70, by fighting off an attacking mountain lion with a small log and his pen.
Thanks to a BBC copy editor who was paying more attention to his lunch than to the text in front of him, we have, it seems, a husband named "70" and an anthropomorphic log that is the proud owner of a pen. Alternatively the pen belongs to the mountain lion. This is the stuff bad grammar books are made of.

Comments and Suggestions?
 
  • winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Thanks to a BBC copy editor who was paying more attention to his lunch than to the text in front of him, we have, it seems, a husband named "70" and an anthropomorphic log that is the proud owner of a pen. Alternatively the pen belongs to the mountain lion. This is the stuff bad grammar books are made of.

    Comments and Suggestions?
    Superb pick, cuchu. :D

    Pathetic fallacy, anyone? It's pathetic, and full of fallacies after all...
     

    MissFit

    Senior Member
    Let's be fair. While the rest of the sentence is laughable, we can't pick on this writer for the "70." I've read hundreds of news articles that mention a persons age, set off in commas. Isn't that common practice with BBC reporters too?

    Here are some similar lines from my morning paper (names changed to protect the guilty.;) )
    "Joseph Brown, 30, showed no emotion in court, but paid close attention as Judge Shoemaker detailed charges against him."
    "Kevin Mann, 17, was driving east on County Road 17 when his car ran off the road, hit a tree, and flipped over." (Minor injuries only--until his parents get ahold of him.)
    "The victim, 28, was interviewed by police detectives at the hospital."
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Let's be fair. While the rest of the sentence is laughable, we can't pick on this writer for the "70." I've read hundreds of news articles that mention a person's age, set off in commas. Isn't that common practice with BBC reporters too?

    Here are some similar lines from my morning paper (names changed to protect the guilty.;) )
    "Joseph Brown, 30, showed no emotion in court, but paid close attention as Judge Shoemaker detailed charges against him."
    "Kevin Mann, 17, was driving east on County Road 17 when his car ran off the road, hit a tree, and flipped over." (Minor injuries only--until his parents get ahold of him.)
    "The victim, 28, was interviewed by police detectives at the hospital."
    Your third example is a fair parallel. It uses a descriptive term, 'victim', rather than a name.
    You are correct. The entire sentence was just too much fun not to share.

    Regards,
    C3P0 and 7 of 9
     
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