13 December, 2011
Well, parse me!
Mind you it's a tricky business, yer grammar. Orthography is a morceau de gâteau compared with your syntax. It's all around us, pressing in, demanding constant vigilance and alertitude. This paragraph in the ever wonderful News Shopper had me flummoxed for a while.
Sikh TV owner? Eh? Was that the unfortunate victim's most salient characteristic? That he was a Sikh who owned a TV set? Poor bugger, can't have had much of a life if that was the pinnacle of his life's achievement.
A little further delving reveals that the late Mr Singh was in fact one of the owners of an organization known as "Sikh TV", so
( ( Sikh TV ) owner )
( Sikh ( TV owner ) )
as I had thought.
Good stuff, this English language, innit? I mean, where would yer cryptic crossword setters be without this sort of ambiguity? Up the boozer crying into their double whisky, that's what.
BBC Radio news is full of this sort of stuff. Incorrect identification of the object of a clause. Don't they speaka da Eenglish here any more?
Orthographically speaking, I am also a correct-spelling compulsive like Edwin, but I find that typing rather than hand writing causes me to commit egregious errors. For example, recently in a comment on this very blog, I typed 'irresistable' instead of 'irresistible'. I noticed the error as soon as I posted, but there's no way to correct comments, so I will have to live with the shame forever.
On the bright side, the increasing, and irritating, use of 'protestor' in place of 'protester' may have been curtailed by Time magazine's correct spelling in large letters on its current cover. There's always hope.