Saturday, April 29, 2006

Calling All Proofreaders

"The cause of both fires are under investigation."

Susan Hendricks, CNN Headline News, 29 April 2006

Susie baby,

The fires are out. They can't be under investigation if they're out.
The "cause" is under investigation.
The correct conjugation of the verb: is

"The cause of both fires is under investigation" is what you should have said.

"Both fires" is an object of the preposition.
"Of" is the preposition.
"Of both fires" is a prepositional phrase.
"Cause" is the subject of the investigation and must agree with the verb, in this case is.

I think I got that rule right. Either way, fire your writer.

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