Spot the Error: Lists Edition

Here’s a poser for you: Our local daily newspaper has a front-page article describing how frequently Fargo makes it into lists generated by various magazines, newspapers, and websites. A few paragraphs into the story is this:

Meanwhile, The Daily Beast figures North Dakota’s Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo are the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 coldest cities in the United States, respectfully.

Can you spot the error? Share your answer in the comments.

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6 Responses to Spot the Error: Lists Edition

  1. Lars Walker says:

    Respectively. I was looking for some factual error about Fargo. Fortunately, Fargo’s glories are well-chronicled by poets and dramatists.

    • Roy Jacobsen says:

      Nailed it, Lars.
      Respectfully means “with respect.”
      Respectively means “correspondingly,” and is used to match one list to another in the order given. I’m pretty sure that the author here meant that, on the list of the coldest cities in the United States, Grand Forks was number 2, Bismarck was number 3, and Fargo was number 4, and not that The Daily Beast was being respectful when it listed the cities that way. (Fargo, like Rodney Dangerfield, doesn’t get much respect.)

  2. Emkay says:

    Also, the second series has an Oxford comma, but the first does not.

  3. Kathy Baugh says:

    Wouldn’t the word “that” inserted between “figures” and “North” improve the sentence?

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