The airing of peeves ...

Most people have language peeves. Editors’ peeves are different. After years spent laser-focused on writers’ mistakes, we can become hypersensitive to grammar mistakes, word choice errors and reader-unfriendly language that most English speakers may not notice at all.

For example:

“Among others” with no antecedent for “others.” Consider the sentence: “This includes meals, room charges, upgrades and resort fees, among others.” Among other whats? “Other,” in this case is acting as a pronoun. A pronoun refers to a noun that came before it — its antecedent: Joe knew he was in trouble. The pronoun “he” is shorthand for the noun “Joe.” If our example sentence had kicked off with “This includes costs like meals, room charges …” then the noun “costs” would be the antecedent for the pronoun “others.” But in our original sentence, “others” doesn’t have an antecedent.

Here, in my recent column, are some more of the peeves on this editor’s mind lately.

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