Crikey’s server nearly shuddered to a
halt yesterday beneath the weight of your email responses to our Wilson
Tuckey media release competition. We didn’t know that within the Crikey
Army marches a platoon of pedants, all eager to jump on Iron Bar’s
As subscriber Tennessee Leeuwenburg points
out: “The very first sentence of Tuckey’s press release should be
perhaps marked down for sheer incomprehensibility. However, despite its
length, this sentence is one of the more well-constructed in the
The lowball estimates were very generous to Tuckey
(Scott Wiltshire admitted: “I counted four grammatical errors. Though I’ve
never been good in that department.”)
And some keen contestants
came up with many more mistakes in the Tuckey treatise. Full marks to
the subscriber who came up with 20 errors, the grammatical equivalent
of the auctioneer pulling bids from trees. But there can be only one
winner, and the prized Crikey T-Shirt goes to James Petersen of
Erskineville for this comprehensive entry nailing the correct number of
14 errors in Tuckey’s five sweet paragraphs of mischief:
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(1) WWII or WW 2, but two strikes of the number one key makes it World War Eleven.
I completely doubt the altruism of the State Premiers and Chief Ministers in regards their nit picking on the Terrorism Bills: (2) regards “TO” their and (3) nitpicking (not two words).
could, incur casualty rates from a single terrorist escapade equivalent
to the WWII attack on Darwin” said Wilson Tuckey MP for O’Connor: (4) no comma after “could” and although this is style rather than grammar, (5) escapade is completely the wrong tone for what he is trying to say. (6)
That would equal (or come close to) the WWII attack (needs the
modifiers and you can’t have casualties that are equivalent to
casualties). Possibly another here as I thought there were multiple
attacks on Darwin but I wasn’t born and am English, so I could easily
be wrong. (7) Wilson Tuckey, MP for O’Connor.
Premiers pursuit of political advantage equates to the despicable acts
of the Australian wharfies during the early years of WWII: (8)
“Premiers’” (and presumably Ministers’ as well) and would reword whole
sentence so that he sounds less like a Loony Tunes character.
also forget the Governments detention policies of that era when
individuals resident in Australia with the ethnic origins of our
enemies were interned and required to work in menial tasks throughout
the war period. I don’t remember any State Premier rushing off to the
High Court to contest such actions at that time, nor public protest: (9) “They” needs to be The Premiers and Ministers, or else it’s floating a pronoun. (10) “Government’s” (11) “in Australia who had the same ethnic origins as our enemies” (although this whole sentence should be taken out and shot.) (12)
“Nor do I recall public protests” (needs to be more of a separate
clause). Also, I think there is a factual problem with the last part of
this as there were definitely public protests, if not of the same
magnitude that we would hope for now.
The simple test when
a nation is confronted with a threat to its people is not the
Constitution but what is needed to pre-empt a possible attack: (13) Comma before the “but”. (14) The Constitution is never a test, perhaps he means how we uphold the Constitution. Does he know what he means?
have been exceedingly charitable and held him to the standards of
Public Servicese rather than formal grammar or useful communication,
but he’d never get anywhere with that last par anyway, so no point
trying. Ghastly little man.
CRIKEY: There you have it, a worthy winner. And pedants, please note: no correspondence will be entered into.