Friday, April 24, 2009

March of the pronouns

A 30-year-old Pontiac man is in the Oakland County Jail and facing felony charges after authorities said he rammed a man’s car after finding his wife in the backseat with him.

You almost need a scorecard (or some extra fingers) to figure out which "he" goes with which "man."

For you outsiders? "Authorities said" isn't really part of the subordinate clause. It's acting like the British "claim quotes" -- sort of a ghostly sentence adverb, reminding us that there's some sort of privileged source to which (or whom) the otherwise potentially libelous assertion can be pinned.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Strayhorn said...

Whose backseat was the woman in? And how did the elephant get in my pyjamas?

4:56 PM, April 24, 2009  

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