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I’m a bit of a stickler about grammar. I cringe when I see things like “Its snowing now” or “Their going to the movies.” Similarly, it bothers me when I read especially bad sentences.

In yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch, there was a short article about a man who was charged with negligence in the death of his daughter in a car accident last year. The sentence read:
“He was charged with failure to restrain his unbelted 12-year-old daughter, Jessica, after she died in a Feb. 22 crash in which another vehicle slid across the center line and struck his van on an icy Rt. 22.”

I know that is not what the reporter intended to say. (At least, I hope that’s not what the reporter intended to say!) Why would the man restrain his daughter after she died?

The incident was a tragedy and I don’t mean to sound flippant. But that sentence is so poorly constructed that it has bothered me ever since I read it yesterday. I think I need to turn “editor mode” off every now and then.