Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unforgiving Grammarian Moment #298

I know this is petty of me, but I get annoyed by bad grammar in newspaper writing. It is usually the subtle little errors that irk me the most; so subtle that sometimes I'm not even sure they are errors.

Like this one from a story on a fish kill in today's News Journal:
Unlike many other regional species, DNREC Fisheries Manager Craig Shirey said the croaker spawn late in the season, in the early fall, and are therefore less equipped to handle cold temperatures and rough surf.
My first question is, what do the other species say about when the croaker do their spawning? And is Craig Shirey really a distinct species? I've met Craig, by the way, and he is a nice fellow, but not that unique.

The fix is simple, by the way. Simply insert a comma:
Unlike many other regional species, DNREC Fisheries Manager Craig Shirey said, the croaker spawn late in the season, in the early fall, and are therefore less equipped to handle cold temperatures and rough surf.
Or even better:
Unlike many other regional species, croaker spawn late in the season, in the early fall, said DNREC Fisheries Manager Craig Shirey. They are therefore less equipped to handle cold temperatures and rough surf, he added.
You could probably leave off the "he added," I suppose.

Yes, I know. I am being petty. And I am often guilty of equally egregious grammatical errors. But newspaper writers and editors get paid to write.

I'm just blathering on here for my own amusement.

No comments:

Post a Comment