Saturday, January 08, 2011

Sentence(s) of the morning

The most super-important story in the history of the world in space continues to wreak havoc throughout the Midwest, flooding roads, toppling trees and knocking out power to thousands. Quick, diagram this gem from the mainbar*:

Speculated by many fans as Michi­gan’s dream hire to replace fired coach Rich Rodriguez, now the focus official­ly shifts to other candidates.

No, "speculated" doesn't take that sort of object,** making it look even more bizarre as a passive. And it's come delightfully loose from whatever in the main clause it was trying to modify. There's another nice dangler in the last graf:

Heading into a major recruiting weekend for many schools, it will be an interesting few days for U-M athletic director Dave Brandon to pursue coaches, many who would be enter­taining those recruits on campus.

Ash nagz durbatulûk! Two days ago, Brandon was some combination of Isildur, Sauron and Frodo; now he's just another guy in Ann Arbor who's going to have an interesting weekend?

The dangler's more of a discourtesy than a comprehension problem, but the last clause is a train wreck. "Many who would be entertaining those recruits" would be fine as a subject, but what we need here is a "many of whom would be entertaining those recruits." And if this really is a major recruiting weekend, there's nothing conditional about it: they will be recruiting.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
* Not available online, alas.
** "Now rare or obsolete," sez the OED.

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