random verbs and taboos

Victor aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 9 23:01:59 UTC 2009

I came across this sentence and it had me dumbfounded for a few seconds.
First, I thought the problem was that this was just a case of careless
application of perfect, hence the two "haves" preceding a verb.

 >>And as it turns out, Kansas hasn’t had executed anyone since 1965.

Removing either one of the "haves" but keeping the negation would be,
more or less, fine. But I was still troubled, as I noticed that
switching "executed" and "anyone" would also solve the problem. Was this
a case of "split verb" reaction by the editor, perhaps conflated with
the proscription against passive? I am inclined to see this as a
strunkified editing job rather than an accidental doubling of the
"haves". If so, it should find a place in people's collections as a
classic example of following bad advice.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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