Ruth Joins the Prose Police

To celebrate having survived finals week, I am taking the entire day off and doing absolutely NOTHING productive. Okay, other than taking the two dogs and three cats to the vet to have their badly out-of-date shots updated. And throwing the occasional log on the fire so I don’t freeze… and going to work tonight at 7. But other than that, NOTHING.

My first useless task was to actually read some of the news headlines that show up on my Google homepage when I start Firefox (my browser of choice). Usually I have research to do or something, and zoom on past them, but in celebration of my official Goofing Off Day, I decided to read them all. It didn’t take me long to go into Grammar Police mode. Where in the world have all the intelligent people gone? Doesn’t anybody read what they’re writing any more? I read three stories before I couldn’t take it any more. Here are excerpts from each of them:

A news story from Reuters UK about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome made this statement:

To investigate, Dr. Gordon C. S. Smith from Cambridge University and his team used Scottish databases to identify a group of women who had consecutive births between 1985 and 2001.

The implication here, for those of you just starting your families, appears to be that you should be sure to have your children non-consecutively, in order to lower the chances of losing them to SIDS.

The next story I browsed to was in The Columbian (Columbia County, OR), which said:

State Department of Agriculture officials said the cow share system is legal but doesn’t absolve the dairy of the need for a license to produce raw milk.

Dairy farming must be hard on the “little guy” these days — you’ve either got to pay the government for a license to produce raw milk, or find a way to afford cows that produce only pasteurized milk!

The next story was from MSNBC:

A team of scientists from Alzheimer’s Disease International estimate 24.3 million people currently suffer from dementia. Cases are rising by 4.6 million a year or one every 7 seconds.

I’ve been under the misconception that it took years to develop Alzheimer’s Disease, but apparently I was wrong. Somewhere in the world, someone develops it every seven seconds. Oops, there goes another one…

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