Thursday, October 21, 2010

would-be grammer nerd.

I don't normally take part in grammar nerdishness, but this is too good to pass up:

Yesterday, on NPR, I was in the car driving with my daughter, listening to a story about "Don't Ask Don't Tell", and the story ended like this:
In one of his recent tweets today, Choi said he missed three verbal and five math questions on the skills test. He passed. But his future and the future of thousands of would-be gay service members remains unclear.
Now, I instantly said, "wait a minute, don't they mean, 'gay would-be service members?' "

The phrase "would-be gay service members" indicated that there are service members who are currently straight who are hoping to be gay. I'm sure that's not what they meant.

Instead they should have said, "gay would-be service members."

Anywhoo, the text of the program is here: the backward wordage is in the last paragraph.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are most certainly correct. You must let them know and then they will read off your comment on the program. I have heard them do that. Debra.

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at