Monday, August 08, 2005

New York Times Grammar Corner

Who's Modifying Whom?
From an NY Times story today about the Jim DeFede dismissal:

"Executives at The Miami Herald, which fired a columnist late last month......"

Shouldn't it be "who fired"? After all, it was the executives who did the firing, not the Herald, per se.
Yes, the comma would trigger a "which." However, the sentence could just as easily have been written:
"Executives at The Miami Herald who fired...."

Of course, this is moot if the Herald has assumed anthropomorphic attributes we previously didn't know about. Being that we're talking about South Florida, anything's possible.

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