November 12, 2005

Dvorkin dangles

Another example of the Decline of Western Civilization linguistic ignorance of today's intellectuals, deftly critiqued at Headsuptheblog and Language Hat. This time it's Jeffrey Dvorkin, the NPR ombudsman, who is taken to task for assuming that Roberts' is a "plural possessive", among other sins.

Let me add a pointer to a nice dangling modifier in the second paragraph of Dvorkin's piece:

Visitors to Washington, D.C. may note that upon entering a D.C. taxicab, the car radio is often tuned to one of the two local NPR member stations -- WAMU or WETA.

In addition to pleasing the Fellowship of the Predicative Adjunct, Dvorkin's dangler is also a prime example of the Hartman/McKean/Skitt Law of Prescriptive Retaliation, according to which this post must itself contained at least one error.

Posted by Mark Liberman at November 12, 2005 11:04 AM