Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Not Just Us

Many (including me) have lamented ever-lower standards in the English language. Lax American education and a lack of editorial oversight are the usual culprits when someone complains about how Americans are ruining the mother tongue.

It ain’t just us.

The Guardian’s web site has an article—entertaining enough in its own right—about how the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to have a Russian “scientist” named Vladimir Shpunt “beam thought waves to boost the team’s chances.” (The entire O’Malley family must be rolling over in their graves.)

This is not a sports blog. (That’s here.) The sentence of greatest interest in this context is the following: He [Shpunt] was introduced to Jamie McCourt in 2004 and claims to have cured her through long-distance energy transmission of an eye infection.

A quick reading leaves the impression Shpunt transmitted an eye infection to Ms. McCourt to cure her of an undisclosed ailment, one presumably more unpleasant than an eye infection. A more felicitous—and accurate—phrasing might be: He was introduced to Jamie McCourt in 2004 and claims to have cured her of an eye infection through long-distance energy transmission.

I don’t know where all our editors have gone, but at least I’m pretty sure it’s not England.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yikes! My writing group would have read that writer the riot act for that one. I guess editing is finished.