Monday, June 18, 2012

A grammar/usage scare.

Earlier today, I posted this on facebook:

Just read this part of a Yahoo News article:

"Both tests showed that bacteria levels in hotel rooms were between 2 to 10 times higher than the levels accepted in hospitals.

The presence of bacteria’s doesn’t guarantee that people will get sick, but it makes it more likely."

Between 2 to 10? Presence of bacteria's?

I'm hyperventilating.
 You can read the whole article here.
 Everyone who read my facebook post thought I was hyperventilating because of the nastiness of all those germs. But while the thought of sharing the world's bacteria on the TV remote gives me the heeby-jeebies, that's not what had me gasping for breath.
 In the first sentence, the writer says "between 2 to 10" and I know you know that's not the correct way to state a range, because we've covered that subject right here on the blog. It's either "between 2 and 10" or "from 2 to 10."
 Then in the second sentence, all semblance of proper usage goes right down the proverbial toilet when the writer says "The presence of bacteria's doesn't guarantee etc." Bacterias as a plural of bacterium is bad enough, but throwing that unnecessary apostrophe in there just adds fuel to the grammatical fire. The word is bacterium (sing.)/bacteria (pl.).
Go forth and please don't ever write like this.
 Be thankful ~ 

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