Subject/Verb Agreement Problems, Plus Corn Grounding??

The Birmingham area is adjusting this week to having its one remaining "daily" newspaper delivered three days a week. I'm not sure yet if I can get used to sitting down with hot tea and the paper only three mornings a week.  The first "new" edition was on our lawn this morning, after we spent two weekday mornings discovering that AL.com had two-day-old stories mixed in with current things on Monday and Tuesday and, despite the guide for using it, was not all that easy to navigate.  I finally figured out that I could find a little local news if I clicked on one local story and then scrolled to the right from there.

I'm also not sure I want to read three days of comics in one sitting, and I miss the national editorial comments from a broad range of thinkers. (Okay not everyone in this county thinks the range is broad enough), but I usually read everyone from Dana Milbank and Froma Harrop to George Will and Charles Krauthammer, then live with my own thoughts. I did enjoy a little extra morning time on Monday and Tuesday to read USA Today on line, The New Yorker articles I'd been meaning to get to, and a smattering of headline stories from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, so maybe I will get the hang of this.

I will reserve overall judgment about the quality of the writing in this new venture, but I was horrified to find that the lead story in the "Hoover" neighborhood section of the paper had no fewer than THREE subject/verb agreement errors in about six inches of copy. The story, about a Native American Festival to be held this Sunday at the beautiful Aldridge Gardens, was interesting, but these are glaring errors:

Other activities includes leaf pounding, beading, corn grounding, gourd making and pottery.

Whoops! ACTIVITIES is plural. Therefore, its verb should be INCLUDE (without the S). Also, I am not sure what CORN GROUNDING is. I checked Google and a dictionary or two and could not find any such thing. The verb GRIND has the past tense GROUND, but here, the ING form should be created with the present tense, so it should be GRINDING. This sentence should read this way:

Other activities include leaf pounding, beading, corn grinding, gourd making and pottery.

Last time I checked, the word CHILDREN was the plural form of CHILD, so it should take the plural verb ARE, but here is what the article said:

Children under 2 is free.

Of course, this sentence should read as follows:

Children under 2  are  free.

The sentence before this one puzzled me a little. It said that admission to the festival is $5 for 18 and older. My question is: Why doesn't the reporter mention what it will cost those between the ages of 2 and 18 to attend?

Finally, this sentence appeared near the end of the article:

 The festival is being made possible by the Alabama Department of Tourism and Aldridge Gardens' 10th Anniversary sponsors, which includes AT&T, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Brookwood Hospital, Ed Randle & Associates and Protective Life Corporation, organizers said.

 

Whoops again! The word SPONSORS is plural, and the words WHICH INCLUDES should refer to the five SPONSORS (plural) of the event. HINT: To avoid worrying about the subject/verb agreement, the writer could just use the word INCLUDING. The sentence should read one of these two ways:

The festival is being made possible by the Alabama Department of Tourism and Aldridge Gardens' 10th Anniversary sponsors, which include AT&T, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Brookwood Hospital, Ed Randle & Associates and Protective Life Corporation, organizers said.

The festival is being made possible by the Alabama Department of Tourism and Aldridge Gardens' 10th Anniversary sponsors, including AT&T, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Brookwood Hospital, Ed Randle & Associates and Protective Life Corporation, organizers said.


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