The SAGP Casebook
2nd July 2004
Welcome to the casebook of the Self-Appointed Grammar Police. Here
we blow the lid on real cases of bad writing by people who should
know better. Each case file includes notes on the offence, the
verdict and the sentence that we passed.
It may not be clear from our name, but in order to expedite the
judicial process, we in the Self-Appointed Grammar Police also
function as judge, jury and executioner. There is no court of
appeal other than flinging yourself on our mercy (which never
- Case 1:
The Telegraph doesn't know what ``doubtless'' means.
- Case 2:
Reader forced to re-read long sentence.
- Case 3:
Sheer illiteracy in Walking With Beasts.
- Case 4:
The strange case of the intimidating silence.
- Case 5:
The Times confuses subject and object.
- Case 6:
The Guardian fails to use the possessive with a gerund.
- Case 7:
The Guardian can't count to one.
- Case 8:
Extol does not mean Exhort.
- Case 9:
Tripping over a dangling modifier.
- Case 10:
Just because they look the same doesn't mean they are the same.
- Case 11:
I like to think of my car as a Porsche ...
- Case 12:
Say what you mean.
- Case 13:
- Case 14:
More then slightly annoying.
- Case 15:
Nationality is not the same thing as country name.
- Case 16:
Of misplaced phrases and mixed metaphors.
- Case 17:
``Often dubbed''? Are you sure?
- Case 18:
Those brutal-but-brilliant footballers.
- Case 19:
Fleetwood Mac make a mistake that me absolutely detest.
- Case 20:
So can you see through him or not?
- Case 21:
A particularly common spelling mistake.
- Case 22:
Is it to much too ask?
- Case 23:
``He did as much than anyone''
- Case 24:
Right, that's it. That really is it.
- Case 25:
Got something to say? Then say it!
- Case 26:
How many hyphens?
- Case 27:
Breathe, man, breathe!
- Case 28:
It's not real radiation.
- Case 29:
Don't panic! Don't panic!
- Case 30:
This sentence sucks.
- Case 31:
An accidental or deliberate mistake?