Mighty Red Pen

January 11, 2009

More trouble on the MBTA

Filed under: Word wars — mighty red pen @ 3:00 pm
Tags: ,

Magnum PI returns to report some language hijinks that are afoot on the MBTA:

The MBTA has added a couple more PA announcements to the cycle. MRP readers already know about the dangler in the general manager’s message about safety. The agency has since added one discouraging the practice of fare-skipping. The chief of the MBTA police intones: “If you do not pay your fare, you may be citated by an MBTA police officer or official.” Presumably, he meant, “you may be issued a citation,” or even more simply “you may be cited.”

To which MRP can only say, Strong work, Magnum. Perhaps the MBTA should be cited for its incorrect use of this word.

However, showing himself to be as reckless as his namesake, Magnum continues, “But since I don’t know what citated means, I think I’ll try skipping the fare on my next ride to find out what happens.”

While I admire his gumption, I fear we may have a Magnum on the MBTA on our hands: And did he ever return? No, he never returned, and his fate is still unknown. He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston, he’s the man who never returned.

Er, Magnum? Anyone seen Magnum lately?

Update 1/13: Thankfully, Magnum has been located. He reports, “Shortly after I submitted this post to MRP, the MBTA re-recorded (and re-transcribed, for the running-text LED signs) this message. The man now correctly intones, ‘You will be issued a citation by an MBTA police officer or official.'”

Well, thank goodness, we can all rest easy now that truth, justice, and the editorial way have been restored.


May 18, 2008

The eyes and ears of this institution, my friends

Filed under: Grammar goddess,Uncategorized,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 1:23 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Speaking of modifier madness, Magnum PI (who earned his webonym, people, for the tenacious way in which he stalked this one down for MRP) shares one that really burns his biscuit. As a rider on the MBTA’s Red Line, he hears it intoned regularly over the PA system: 

As our eyes and ears of the system, we appreciate the assistance of our passengers in reporting any kind of suspicious packages or suspicious activities.

A fellow word nerd who has been known to utter words like “our imminent doom as a civilization” when faced with bad grammar, Magnum comments: “I would report suspicious packages and activities if someone only explained to me how the MBTA can be the eyes and ears for itself.”


Bonus MRP moment: Check out more about modifiers at the ever-excellent Fritinancy.

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