or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The New Republic strikes again, again

If there's one thing I can count on from The New Republic Online--apart from wishy-washy fence-straddling and good movie reviews, I mean--it's grammatical errors that a spell-checker would never catch.

The newest crime: this review, which contains the sentence, "Instead of giving Andrew a deeper glimpse into her troubled life, Sam passes off her lying ticks as cute."

She has ticks? And they tell lies (or they just lie there)? And they're cute? And she's not being rushed to a hospital to be checked for Lyme disease or tularemia?

I tried to be charitable: it's a mistake that might creep into someone's writing. And then later on in the piece is the following sentence: "(Evidently, in Garden State, epilepsy is just another eccentricity--like blue hair or a verbal tick.)"

So it's official: the writer thinks that "tick" means a habit or an idiosyncrasy, and there's no editor to correct this strange delusion. And, goddammit, it's wrong. John August may think that "prescriptivists are assholes", but he's the asshole: there's still a right and a wrong.


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