Tuesday, December 04, 2007

They Were Wounded in the Wallet?

The grammar-challenged blogger Perez Hilton reports that Dennis Quaid is suing the makers of heparin after his infant twins were given an accidental overdose of the blood-thinning drug.

Hilton writes: "As a result of the accidental overdose, the papers claim, twins 'ZOE GRACE QUAID and THOMAS BOONE QUAID, suffered and will continue to suffer injuries of a pecuniary nature.'"

This word goof probably isn't Hilton's fault. He's just quoting the lawyers. As terrible as it is what happened to the Quaids and their babies, this is such a lawyerish sort of mistake, all dressed up in its fancy Latin toga.

Pecuniary means "relating to money" or "involving a financial penalty."

What the lawyer meant to say is that they were injured and deserve to be compensated for it. But instead, he reached for a Latin term he didn't really understand, and ended up suggesting that the babies had been hurt by money. They're too young for that; that sort of injury comes later, especially if you have to spend too much of the wrong sort of time with lawyers.

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