Tag Archives: Murder in the First

Murder by Contract(ion)

Imagine my surprise when one of the detectives on the new TV show Murder in the First (TNT) realizes that a suicide note is a fraud based on an unusual use of an apostrophe! Punctuation meets Prime Time!

apostrophej

 

Noticing that “shouldn’t’ve” (as in “I shouldn’t’ve killed that girl…”) in the supposed typed confession was—coincidentally—exactly the same as in a workplace email communique, the ace detective (as in A+ in English!) researches the statistical commonality of the double contraction … checking with UC Berkeley’s linguistics department (a nice plug for my own alma mater!) and voila! a killer is identified. (In case you’re interested, according to what the detective told the suspect, only 1 in 800,000 use this particular double apostrophe.)

Enough of DNA matches, fingerprint comparisons, text message threads, bloody footprint trails. This is true detective gumjwork. Which gives me an idea; rather than referring to myself as an editor, I think I will now consider myself a grammar gumshoe.

 

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Say “ah”

Though I’m dialed into correct grammar, punctuation, etc. in their written form, I am also sensitive to correct grammar and pronunciation in the spoken word.

So imagine my disappointment when I tuned into one of the new “hot” shows on television — Murder in the First — only to hear not one, but two characters (a judge and a criminal defense attorney) refer to the Burning Man Festival in Nev-ah-da, not Nevada.

murderinthefirst-b-800x450Granted, I’m probably more aware of this faux pas because of having   lived in the silver state for many years, but still, doesn’t anyone do their homework?

Irritating.

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Filed under English language, grammar, speaking, Uncategorized, writing