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Sunday, October 23, 2011

syntax in first drafts

I post plenty of syntax errors on my blog, I call it "first draft syndrome" and I don't always get back to correct them. This morning I found a professional journalist making a simple revision error where a sentence was recast in a new form but not all the adjustments were cleaned up. This is a common problem with first drafts. How many errors do you see in the following sentence? 

 "Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on Friday that he would is advocating for a moratorium on exotic animal auctions. "

article Posted by DANNY GRONER of  The Huffington Post: 10/23/11 01:58 PM ET ": What's the Lesson From the Ohio Exotic Animals Incident?

As an exercise in conjectural emendation,  we might change "he would is advocating for a moratorium" to read "he is advocating for a moratorium" or "he would advocate a moratorium."  The transitive verb "advocate" with the prepositional phrase "for a moratorium"  sounds awkward to me. However,  a moment ago Google found 66,100 examples of "he is advocating for a" but only one other example of "he is advocating for a moratorium."


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