Wednesday, January 30, 2008

There's an Elephant in the Room

We found this in today's New York Times:

There’s been more people hurt by roller coasters in the last 10 years than there has been by elephants. Nobody wants to ban roller coasters,” says Minneapolis police Sgt. Timothy Davison. He may not be an expert on roller coasters, but does know a thing or two about elephants. Before he became a cop, Davison was an elephant trainer and caregiver. Davison worked regularly with the Shrine Circus and disputes the contention by activists who charge that circus animals are routinely mistreated.

It's a classic subject-verb disagreement problem. "There's" is a contraction of "there is." "Is" is a singular verb. People...yes, that would be plural. "There've" looks weird. We're not sure it's really a word. But "there's" isn't correct, here.

Far be it from us to cast judgment on elephant trainers turned lawmen, but we'd like to think someone who's sworn a vow to serve and protect includes Mother Grammar among his constituents.

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