Friday, March 3, 2006

Quick Grammar Lesson

The White House got a little wound up yesterday in reacting to the release of the new videos showing the president sitting like a bump on a log during the hurricane briefing. So much so in fact that their grammar got erratic.

Reflecting the sensitivity of the controversy, the White House issued a three-page statement yesterday to “set the record straight,” defend the president’s actions before, during and after the storm, and accuse Democrats of using the new video “to falsely attack the White House’s Hurricane Katrina’s response.” [Emphasis added.]

Aside from splitting an infinitive, they are saying that the Democrats “falsely attacked” the reponse. No, they didn’t — the Democrats really did attack the response. And so did a lot of Republicans.

Splitting an infinitive has more or less gained acceptance since Star Trek’s famous “To boldly go where no man has gone before” intro in 1966, but you have to be careful what adverb you’re using to split the infinitive and make sure you know you’re modifying the infinitive verb and not something else.

Of course, given the proclivity of the president to mangle the language, maybe they meant to say “to attack the falsely response.”

Bonus point: note the superfluous ‘s after “Hurricane Katrina.” That’s one of my pet peeves. Who proofs this stuff?