Shock! Horror! Criteria!

The writers and editors at the New York Times evidently need to feel a lot more linguistic insecurity than they do. On the editorial page of today’s paper (August 30th) I was appalled to read the following, in a discussion of McCain’s choice of Palin as his VP: “That really is the only criteria for judging a candidate for vice president.” Don’t they know that “criteria” is the plural and “criterion” the singular? It should (of course) be “that…criterion”; it can only be “those…criteria”. You hear the mistake in conversation fairly often–but on the editorial page of the NY Times! Deplorable. Pathetic. Contemptible. And obviously it’s not just one person who doesn’t get it; a lot of people must have let that pass. Some serious knuckle-rapping needs to be done there–or firing. And while I’m on the subject, people have to stop saying “phenomena” when they mean “phenomenon”–using the plural when they mean the singular. But I bet there won’t even be any embarrassment in the editorial offices of the Times over this “criteria” fuck-up–as if only the most pedantic of pedants would even notice it. I threw the paper across the room when I read it.

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