Archive for December, 2011

Conjunction

Posted in Uncategorized on December 1, 2011 by jkiparsky

Someone (naming no names) has left a copy of “Outside” magazine in my bathroom. I want to find and slap the editor of this journal, just because the cover advertises an article which claims to explain
“How being outside makes you
– smarter
– happier
– want to save the planet”

Let’s quickly review the basic rule of conjunctions: you can conjoin like grammatical entities. “I have a hammer and a nail and been to Holland” is not a legitmate conjunction.

Imagine a popular science magazing reporting on new research by claiming that “Peanut butter and jelly makes you healthy and a great sandwich” – this is approximately the same mistake. It’s not surprising, of course, but I do think it would be reasonable to count familiarity with the English language to be a minimum standard for the editor of a national magazine published in English.