Wednesday, October 16, 2013

spot the error(s)

Seen here:

The notable exclusion of poverty from the Christian agenda would doubtlessly puzzle European Christians, whose support of Christian ethical approaches to family life have always been paired with a deep and vigorous concern for the poor.

Did you find the error(s)?



John said...

The error that jumped right out at me was the concept of a "Christian agenda." And Europe has been pretty much secular for decades (church attendance around 10% if I recall correctly). Finally, it is historically inaccurate to state that there has ever been "a deep and vigorous concern for the poor."

That's three, there could be more.

Elisson said...

Subject-verb disagreement: should read "whose support of Christian ethical approaches to family life has always been paired..."

Surprises Aplenty said...

Am I the only one bothered by "doubtlessly"? Surely, the final two letters should not be there. I don't think'exclusion; is a verb requiring an adverb.

Kevin Kim said...


Elisson nails what I was looking for, in terms of grammatical errors (SVA), but I agree with you that doubtlessly is a stylistic faux pas, almost like a poor attempt at a snooty British tone. We normally use doubtless as an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs:

•He is doubtless incensed by your behavior. (modifying the participial adjective incensed)
•This will doubtless puzzle European Christians. (modifying the compound verb will puzzle)

The adverbial "-ly" ending, while not exactly grammatically incorrect, is still superfluous, which is probably what annoys both you and me.

A pedantic editor's note, however: "exclusion" is a noun, not a verb, as can be seen by the use of the definite article the. ["The notable exclusion..."]