Spot the Error: Pundit Edition


Spotted in a bit of political commentary:

If the Romney team believed their own inevitability rhetoric, failing to invest for victory yesterday just as they did before South Carolina, that doesn’t auger well for their ability to make sound decisions later on.

What’s the problem? (Or should that be “What are the problems?”)

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6 Responses to Spot the Error: Pundit Edition

  1. Ray Ward says:

    First one I spotted is the subjunctive “believed.” From the rest of the passage, looks to me like the writer intended the indicative. Then there’s that “their,” which doesn’t match “team.” (Similar errors throughout the passage.) So I’d rewrite the opening phrase: “If the Romney team believes its own inevitability rhetoric, ….”

    That word “auger” is wrong. I think the writer meant “augur.” Finally, I’d reduce “later on” to “later.”

  2. Cory says:

    Team is a singular noun. The team believes its own rhetoric. The members believe their contributions.

    I also hate “invest for victory.” And “yesterday” make it ambiguous – was the team to invest yesterday or was the victory to be yesterday?

  3. michelle says:

    augur, not auger!!

  4. Kathy Baugh says:

    Their, they, and their should be its, it, and its because the subject of the sentence, team, is singular, not plural, and requires a singular pronoun.

  5. Becky Rider says:

    I see three dependent clauses
    If . . .
    Failing . . .
    That . . .
    but no independent clause. I would also include as additional problems everything Ray Ward mentioned.
    And the paragraph rambles, obfuscating any actual point the author tried to make.

  6. Roy Jacobsen says:

    I have to admit that, at first, I was so bothered by the misuse of auger instead of augur that I didn’t notice what a mess the rest of the sentence was. But a mess it is.

    Granted, this was on a blog, and blog posts are frequently dashed off and posted with no editor’s oversight, or even a single write/review/revise cycle. And one can cipher out the author’s likely intended meaning. But readers should not have to work at ciphering out what a sentence means.

    So all of you win 500 points.

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