Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mr. Cooper, Commas, and Giuliani with His Cross-eyed Third Wife

Sigmund Freud's Couch

This piece by Mr. Cooper on Mr. Giuliani adds to his flaws cronyism with a crook whom Giuliani recommended to be Homeland Security czar. This situation adds to other of Giuliani’s flaws as a candidate: one major one with me is that he kicked his wife and children out of Gracie Mansion when he took up with that cross-eyed woman whom he later married. His children now hate him. No man who earns the animosity of his children in this barbarous manner should be president. He probably abuses commas too.

Giuliani Says Successes Surpass Kerik’s Mistakes


Published: November 6, 2007

Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday that the crime-fighting successes of the disgraced former police commissioner, Bernard B. Kerik, outweighed his legal problems, and added that “if I have the same degree of success and failure as president of the United States, this country will be in great shape.”

No commas around “Bernard B. Kerik”; it’s a restrictive appositive. There has been more than one disgraced former police commissioner.

No comma after “problems”: it separates the compound verb: “said...addeed.”

“There were mistakes made with Bernie Kerik,” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview.

This is the typical politician’s retreat behind the passive verb. The reporter should have asked Giuliani who made the mistakes. After blackballing the reporter for the question, Mr. Guiliani should have then said, “I made mistakes with Bernie Kerik.”

Mr. Kerik is now facing a possible indictment on a range of federal felony charges, including perhaps tax evasion and bribery, stemming in part from his acceptance of $165,000 in renovations to his Bronx apartment paid for by the construction firm, Interstate Industrial.

The commas after “charges” and “bribery” cut off restrictive participial phrases: no commas.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Mr. Giuliani ignored a number of warning signs when, in 2000, he chose Mr. Kerik as his police commissioner, over the objections of more than half his cabinet.

Over” begins a restrictive prepositional phrase: no comma.

Mr. Giuliani, in testimony last year to a state grand jury, acknowledged that the city’s investigations commissioner, Edward J. Kuriansky, had told him that he had been briefed at least once about Mr. Kerik’s involvement with Interstate. Mr. Giuliani said, though, that neither he nor any of his aides could recall being briefed about it.

If the city has only one investigations commissioner, the commas around “Edward J. Kuriansky” are right for a non-restrictive appositive. If there is more than one, the commas are wrong because the name would then be a restrictive appositive.

But a review of Mr. Kuriansky’s diaries, and investigators’ notes from a 2004 interview with him, now indicate that such a session took place. Mr. Kuriansky also recalled briefing one of Mr. Giuliani’s closest aides, Dennison Young Jr., about Mr. Kerik’s entanglements with the company just days before he was appointed police commissioner, according to the diaries he compiled at the time and his later recollection to the investigators.

The commas around “and investigators’ notes…him” cut out part of the compound object of preposition “of”: “of diaries and notes.” This fellow has trouble with restrictive and nonrestrictive appositives: the commas around “Dennison Young Jr.” are redundant: Giuliani has more than one closest aide.

And he said [that] he did not know what effect an indictment of Mr. Kerik, or a guilty plea from him, might have on his campaign.

The commas wrongly cut out the second part of the compound subject—“indictment or…plea” of “might have” in the subordinate [begins with elided “that”] noun clause that acts as direct object of “said.”

“I have no idea what’s going to happen, first of all, nor do I have any idea what he’s going to do,” Mr. Giuliani said.

The adverbial phrase “first of all” occupies an adverb’s normal syntax: end of the main clause, so it gets no comma before it. The one after “all” is OK: it separates a compound sentence joined by the coordinating conjunction “and.”


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