Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Is our journalists familiar with the words "singular" and "plural"

In The Observer, Ken Kurson finds proof that it is possible to report for our nation's journal of record for more than 20 years without learning the difference between singular and plural. He wrote "One veteran reporter who has been at the paper for more than 20 years said, '‘Bullying’ and ‘petty’ [sic] are Andy’s middle name. ... '" I has a questions. Is it possible that someone who has been at the New York Times for more than 20 years does not understand that "bullying" and "petty" are two different morphemes (written with different letters and all that) so the two of them are plural and can't be be a singular "name" ? Is it possible that Kurson misquoted his anonymous source ?

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