The barbarians are in the citadel

Raifee was a passenger in the car but her and her boyfriend denied all knowledge of a point bag and laptops that were found in the vehicle.

Source: Trade Me fraud suspect released on bail, on the New Zealand Herald website

A ‘grab’ of the offending sentence, for the sake of posterity.

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.


8 comments on “The barbarians are in the citadel

  1. Oh god… that is truly awful. Journalism? And that’s before I even got to the story, which is awful too.

  2. Helen says:

    Quick! Get the boiling oil!!

  3. Subject. Object. Facepalm.

  4. Me and my literary friends are well gutted about this.

  5. Raymond A Francis says:

    Surely Deborah you are far to young to be a member of the “Old Fart Brigade”
    English is a living language, it changes as we grow older in ways we don’t like, sorry but you will have to get used to it
    My favourite hate is people having things taken “off ” them rather than “from” but I am a fully paid up member of the OFB

  6. notafeminist says:

    In response to Raymond – you’re absolutely right, and we ought not to make judgements about people who use this type of grammar. But, there is nothing wrong with looking at a sentence, as a native speaker of English, and saying ‘That sounds really weird in its context’.

  7. This is not a type of grammar, this is a misunderstanding of grammar. English is a living language but it does not discard its structure. We should make judgements of misusers of the language, especially journalists.

  8. WittyKnitter says:

    Raymond, language does change, slowly and over time. But the newspapers shouldn’t be in the vanguard of this change. The reporting Deborah highlights is just plain sloppy in its use of grammar, not up with the the times.

    My pet hate is ‘different to’ instead of the more correct ‘different from’. But I gave the fight up years ago.

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