The case of the missing particle

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 29 17:47:48 UTC 2007

"They are treating the zoo as a crime scene and have not ruled the
possibility that the tiger latched on to a limb slung over her exhibit wall
to pull itself out."

Possibilities are seldom if ever "ruled". The culprit here may be some
careless copyreader, who saw the final "out" -- which goes with "pull itself
___" -- and didn't read the clause in between. Further evidence: the
waffling over whether this tiger should be referred to with feminine or
neuter pronouns.

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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