Monday, February 28, 2005

Robert Trigaux's Eclectic Errors

ROBERT TRIGAUX. St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Fla.: Feb 23, 2005. pg. 1.D

He said his biggest failure was the systemic failure at the New York Times to recognize and address the months of fabricated stories and plagiarism on a wide scale by reporter Jayson Blair, and the resulting newsroom rebellion under the top editor at the time, Howell Raines. This 42-word sentence features a redundant comma after “Blair” that splits a compound predicate nominative: “failure”…”rebellion.” Unless a writer is adept at structure, avoiding comma errors in a 42-word sentence is tough. The writer could have put the redundant comma to use in the sentence below: a comma goes after “institution” for compound sentence joined by a coordinating conjunction.

"We are a human institution and we will make mistakes," New York Times Co.

He joked it had only taken a year and a half after the deal for the team to break its curse and win the World Series. The misplaced modifier “only” goes before “a year,” which it modifies.

The company this week said it would acquire About Inc. and its Web site,, for $410-million, to increase its online presence.

The comma after “” cuts off a restrictive adverbial prepositional phrase: The company will acquire for $410 million, not $510 million.


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