I weep for our language, part 8.

From what is otherwise a very interesting article on NCAA recruiting rules as they are being applied to fan pages on Facebook:

But dozens of Facebook groups are still up in plain site for current recruits, including Wall, and other top undecided basketball players such as Xavier Henry and Lance Stephenson.

I suppose the redesigned Facebook might qualify as a plain site, but I doubt that was the writer’s intent.

Incidentally, add me to the list of people who finds the NCAA’s intrusive attitude on this matter troublesome. It’s not even remotely clear what the harm might be, and as long as the page or group in question is not formally affiliated in any way with the university or its athletics program, I fail to see how the NCAA has the right to demand its termination, and the last time they got a little too big for their britches, an Ohio court put the smack down.

I weep for our language, part 7.

Courtesy of Kevin at Fan Interference, we have BC basketball coach Al Skinner:

“I tried to pre-warn them . . . We were capable of being this team and capable of being another team.”

As Kevin points out, a warning that isn’t pre- is kind of useless. Reminds me of the old Bill Cosby routine about the “dip” signs in California. I’m thinking this is roughly as embarrassing as BC’s athletic director throwing a tantrum over his football coach interviewing for a better, higher-paying job.

I weep for our language (part 6)…

CNN’s Rob Marciano reports from hard-hit Galveston where some residents road out the storm.


I weep for our language (part 5)…

CNN’s editing is so sloppy that in the link to an AP article on the problems posed by the apostrophe, they put the apostrophe in the wrong place:

Curse ‘o the Irish: Apostrophes (link goes to a screen cap of the screw-up)

I weep for our language (part 4)…

Well, either for our language or for our system of jurisprudence …


In her opening statement last month, prosecutor Ama Dwimoh asked jurors to reject any attempt to demonize the girl, describing her as a defenseless, innocent child who weighed only 36 pounds at her death.

“He wasn’t no daddy,” Dwimoh said of Rodriguez. “Daddies don’t blame their child for their actions. Murderers do.”

Don’t you need a basic command of English to be a prosecutor in the country’s largest municipal DA office?

I weep for our language (part 3)…

Even the New York Times is losing its grip on our grammar: Witness John Branch’s Seeing Vulnerability in N.F.C. Foes, Giants Are Confident:

And the Giants, boosted by a 7-1 road record and the knowledge that none of the five top seeds are currently on even a two-game winning streak, see reason to view their postseason outlook optimistically.

(Emphasis mine). “None” takes a singular verb – none of the top five seeds IS currently on a two-game winning streak. So that’s bad, but not uncommon. What’s awful is that some copyeditor at the Times liked that sentence and used it for a pull quote, repeating the grammatical error:

None of the five top seeds are on a two-game win streak.

Now, maybe I’m a little off on this one, but what exactly is the skill set required to be a copyeditor? If command of the language isn’t #1, it’s #1A, right?

By the way, I’ve got a 1 pm chat today (Friday 12/28) over at the Four-Letter.

Yep, these are my readers…

A new feature here at the dish: Insulting emails from ESPN readers. Our first entry is high comedy, indeed:

Your a dousche bag if you think the Astros are not a better team than when Wade took over. POOPura ran this team into the ground and is the main reason they team was in the shape it was. Quit writing you suck at it.

Three words in and we’ve got two language errors. And there’s no argument so convincing as referring to another adult as “poop.” There’s also a severe reading comprehension problem here, since I never said that the Astros weren’t better – I’ve said that they’re not contenders, but I’m pretty confident that’s not the same thing.

I weep for our language (part 2)…

This one’s interesting, from a Newsday review of The Kite Runner film:

“The Kite Runner” is the latest in a spate of smash bestsellers that have been transferred to the screen with a cautiousness usually reserved for the conveyance of holy relics and eggs. It’s generation-spanning plot combines one of the season’s favorite themes (the guileful acts of children) with one of its trendiest (turmoil in Afghanistan). And it premieres on the heels of nettlesome publicity involving stage-parent outrage and threats of bodily harm targeted at its youngest stars. … Like it’s author, “The Kite Runner’s” morose protagonist is the son of a Kabul diplomat who relocates to California as the Russians begin their incursions into Afghanistan.

I deleted one paragraph in the middle, but in the span of five sentences, Jan Stuart manages to use the correct “its” twice and the incorrect one twice, even though every instance called for the same word (“its” without its apostrophe). This has to be one of the easiest grammatical rules to remember, and I see it screwed up all the freaking time. All Stuart had to do was remember Strong Bad’s helpful song:

If you want it to be possessive, it’s just “I-T-S.” But, if it’s supposed to be a contraction then it’s “I-T-apostrophe-S,” … scalawag.

I weep for our language (part 1)…

From an Associated Press story on the death of Ike Turner:

But over the years they’re genre-defying sound would make them favorites on the rock ‘n’ roll scene, as they opened for acts like the Rolling Stones.

Who the hell wrote this? A third-grader?