Mighty Red Pen

May 5, 2008

Cinco de drinko

Filed under: Grammar goddess,Pop culture,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 7:47 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This just in from Nikita, who says it’s a question for MRP but honestly, I’m not sure I’m needed for this conversation about Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell:

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we were hoping you could help us with a Mike Lowell issue. Krodamai and I were having a disagreement about Lowell’s heritage (he said Cuban, I said Boriqua) and as per usual we turned to the Internet to settle the matter. Wikipedia proved us both right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it): he is of Cuban descent but born in Puerto Rico.

However, we were both stymied by this passage: “Mike was raised in Miami, Florida. He is the son of Carlos Lowell, a Cuban exile of Irish and German descent that established in Puerto Rico, from 1962 to 1974, pitching for the Puerto Rico National Team during that time.”

Something is very wrong with this sentence but we can’t quite figure out what. Who did the establishing, and what did they establish? Or, what was established and when? Did his dad establish a home in Puerto Rico but leave in 1974 when Mike Lowell showed up? Or did Mike Lowell himself pitch for the PR National Team for twelve years before he was born?

And when you’re done with that, could you help us with this sentence from another biography we found: “The Lowells eventually relocated to Miami, where Mike was raised as a boy.” Is there more to Lowell’s story than we ever knew?

A couple of comments:

1. Yes, that first sentence is a mess, syntax-wise, and would certainly benefit from some editing and clarifying punctuation. One theory I’ll put forward is that “established in Puerto Rico,” which sounds bonkers in English, is a transliteration from Spanish of “se establecio en Puerto Rico,” which would suggest (to me) that this portion of the Wikipedia entry was written by someone who is a native speaker of Spanish or it was translated from a bio that was originally written in Spanish. But I’m guessing here. Anyone?

2. Yes, I know what it sounds like, but I don’t know how you could make such a suggestion about mi novio Mike Lowell. That is not open for discussion.

3. Thank you for not wishing me a happy Cinco de Mayo as, well-documented, I do not celebrate this day as, well-documented, mi gente are not Mexican. Tostones, anyone?



  1. Hi, Nikita! Your question to MRP made my head hurt. Then I clicked through to the tostones and all was right in the world. Except now I have an incredible craving for mallorcas.


    Comment by cinetrix — May 6, 2008 @ 9:31 am | Reply

  2. MRP, I usually don’t write if I’m in agreement, but I am. Si, se establecio. Good detective work. Also, I hope Mr. MRP realizes how lucky he is that you prefer the classy, older Mr. Lowell over the young, pulsating Mr. Ellsbury who drives Helen’s Mom crazy.

    Comment by helen's dad — May 6, 2008 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  3. Mmm, mallorcas . . .

    Thanks for the back-up, Helen’s Dad. Mister MRP realizes how lucky he is that I prefer the classy, older Mister MRP. In the meantime, I’m not saying my Red Sox t-shirt doesn’t have “Ellsbury” on the back.

    Comment by mighty red pen — May 6, 2008 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

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