“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar”*…
Strunk! White! Get your asses in here!
STRUNK and WHITE enter, shooting sidelong glances at each other. Before they can sit, the COMMISSIONER flings a newspaper at them; WHITE clumsily catches it.
Look at this disaster!
WHITE (reading the headlines)
“Police Not Effective as Campus Stalked by Crossword Killer, Student Body in Terror.” Oh, Christ, what a mess.
You’re damn right it is! I just got off the phone with the mayor, and let me tell you, she is not happy!
I can see why. An evasive denial rather than a definite assertion, the passive voice — haven’t the copy writers even taken basic composition? And that gruesome phrase, “student body”! My god! “Studentry” is a much more elegant term! Or simply “students.”
* Michel de Montaigne
As we ponder our parsing, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that the BBC premiered a new comedy sketch show– then improbably, now legendarily– entitled Monty Python’s Flying Circus.