Friday, October 5, 2007

There's this handy letter in the alphabet called "s." Use it sometime.

I can understand how this is a problem. Millions of children are suffering because they all have one cleft lip and palate. Kids already aren't good at sharing when they're so young, and now they all have to share the same cleft lip and palate.

I mean, if the problem was that they all had cleft lips and palates (which is tragic in and of itself), then surely the person who wrote this would have pluralized lip and palate, right? But he left them singular here, so we're left to assume that the problem is not just the (plural) kids sharing the (singular) cleft lip and palate.

(Good thing I'm agnostic and don't believe that making fun of the grammatical mistakes in sad writings about disabilities will get me a one-way ticket to hell.)


linda said...

I have no excuse for being snarky other than that bad grammar in publication irritates me. That being said, in addition to the number agreement issue, I do believe the second sentence is not actually a sentence at all; it's a fragment. It made me want to grab my red pen.

The Grammarphile said...

You're absolutely right--that second "sentence" IS a fragment. I noticed that, too, but I figured I wouldn't pick on it because they probably did it for effect, like to make the plight of the cleft lip and palate sufferers more dramatic. That being said, it still just doesn't look right, mainly because it ISN'T right. :) Good eye, Linda--glad to know I'm not the only grammarphile snarky enough to pick apart writings about slightly deformed children.