Math, grammar tips: multipliers, dangling modifiers
The latest Style & Substance newsletter from the Wall Street Journal is out (pdf).
Most of it is dedicated to frequent errors, such as dangling modifiers:
The most egregious recent example to find its way into print was the lead in a lead story with a dangling gerund: After facing one of the biggest legal assaults in corporate history, the smoke is clearing for Philip Morris USA. The smoke wasn't facing the assault, the company was, so rewording was required. A recent dangling participle: Born in Dickensian poverty in rural Louisiana, Ms. Wolfe's story has all the classic metaphors of a boxer's biography. If her story was born there, where was she born?And multipliers:
If the U.S. spends $30 billion and Japan spends $10 billion on research and development, we spend three times as much as Japan (or two times more than Japan, including the basic $10 billion in the equation). Despite pleas to avoid the ambiguous expression times more than, the beat goes on: Example: Men whose pulses ran above 75 beats a minute while they were resting were nearly 3.5 times more likely to suffer sudden cardiac death than those with resting pulses below 60. We need to check the raw figures and then make it read X times as likely to.There are more good lessons to review, plus the accustomed-to quiz and updates on business names (Chevron, which AP just covered, and Sears, which AP had already covered).
The paper is also switching to the new names of some Indian cities: Bombay becomes Mumbai; Madras becomes Chennai, and Calcutta becomes Kolkata.