Monday, November 27, 2006

O.J. Simpson and the grammar police

Has any recent news story been more dependent on correct verb tenses than the O.J. Simpson flap? Consider this passage from an Associated Press story (emphases mine):
"If I Did It," in which Simpson was to have described how he would have killed his ex-wife, had been scheduled to air as a two-part interview Nov. 27 and Nov. 29 on Fox. The book was to have followed on Nov. 30.
My breath is taken away by this stately procession of properly parsed time elements, without which the news story would make no sense whatsover. Are grammarians using this news coverage in their classrooms?

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