John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Friday, July 3, 2009
This morning’s reading of The Baltimore Sun brought a bright new malapropism. In an article on a lightning strike and fire in the steeple of Bethel A.M.E. Church, this sentence was nestled:
City workers picked up stray shingles Thursday morning and that afternoon the sun shown through the damaged steeple to a newly cleaned sidewalk.
Shown for shone may not be original, but it is my first encounter with the error.
(The omission of the comma after morning to indicate a compound sentence, however, comes out of the set of common errors.)