The customer is not always right
Sharp-eyed as our readers are, and as much as we welcome their comments, they do not always hit the mark.
+ A reader, under the heading “Proper English,” advised us: “You wrote “between her and the basket”, and it should have read “between she and the basket”.
Well, no. The pronoun is the object of the preposition between and should properly be her. This seems to be akin to the common error in speech, between she and I.
+ Another wrote that “the howler of a grammar error in the first sentence of your 4/406 article on jill carroll's return the CSM newsroom is a great teaching tool.”
That sentence read: “Former hostage Jill Carroll met yesterday with the staff of The Christian Science Monitor, visiting the newsroom of the paper that hired her a week after she was taken captive in Iraq.”
I may well be as thick as a plank, but I see no glaring error. Perhaps the reader misunderstood the clause that hired her a week after she was taken captive in Iraq. Going a couple of sentences deeper into the article would have clarified that the paper, which had engaged Carroll on a freelance basis, hired her as a staff member after the kidnapping. If that wasn’t the problem, what could be?
+ A published letter to the editor: “For a long time I have been uncomfortable with the title that sometimes appears at the bottom of The Sun's obituary page: ‘Other Notable Deaths.’ The easy inference is that the deaths of the listed persons were ‘notable’ and the deaths of persons who did not appear in this section were ‘not notable.’ That seems harsh. I would suggest a less exclusive title, such as ‘Other Noted Deaths.’”
This one also leaves me puzzled. Other notable deaths says pretty much the same thing as additional notable deaths would. It takes some straining to read that other as slamming the people not included in the category.