Friday Follies (two days late – sorreee!) #10 – Three mistakes that make me go “Arghhh”!

Okay, now that I’ve finally got my birthday stuff out of the way, the Grammar Cop can buckle down and go “ew” over this week’s boo-boos.

I found these in the British newspaper, the Independent.  It’s strange – I wouldn’t normally think that a country that is the birthplace of the English language, after all, would have a news outlet making these unworthy gaffes. Yet here they are.

  1. “…back when she was 15-years-old.”  No. It should read, “…back when she was 15 years old.”  Yes, I know I’m always harping about missing hyphens, but in this case they shouldn’t be there. If it had instead said, “…the 15-year-old girl went…” – then the hyphens go in, since the phrase comes before the noun “girl.” When the age phrase comes after, there are no hyphens. Look it up. 😉
  2. “Given neither party will leak information, Judge Karlan will then decide on…”  This is awful. A better way to say this would be: “As long as neither party has leaked information, Judge Karlan will then…”  Or better still: “If neither party leaks information, Judge Karlan will then…”
  3. “Lawyer Martin Singer maintains that his client is innocent despite 50-80 women coming forward with…”  NO. Eighty women have not accused Cosby of sexual assault! More then 50, bad enough. No one has ever said “80 accusers.” (Yet!) I think this bad mistake is due to someone misreading the following statement, which appeared in another British newspaper, the Daily Mail (Mail Online): “In July, 35 out of the 51 accusers – aged between 20 and 80…”  Bet you anything that’s where the “80” comes from.

Fact-checking, editing, proofreading – these are all things that are well worth spending dollars (or pounds) on!

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