Monday, 22 August 2011

Like or As


Today's error is usually made by people with less formal education than the editors of the Globe and Mail. In an editorial in the weekend edition (August 20, 2011) on the crackdown by the Syrian authorities on their people, they write:


Like in Egypt, they (the police) may soon tire of killing the innocent.

This misuse of the preposition "like" is often heard on sports programs as players make statements such as,

Like I said, we have to give 110% 

instead of 

As I said, we have to give 110%


"Like" is a preposition here, and as such should be followed by a noun or noun equivalent. "I said" is a clause, and should be joined to the rest of the sentence by the conjunction "as". 

The editors can correct their mistake either by replacing the phrase "in Egypt" with a noun, or using the conjunction "as" to join the phrase to the rest of the sentence.

Like the security police in Egypt, they may soon tire of killing the innocent.

or

As in Egypt, they may soon tire of killing the innocent.


Update, August 24, 2011


Here's another example from an article on the decline of Canada's health-care system:


This kind of rhetoric  is so commonplace that we have become largely inured to it. At first blush, it's another medicare-is-doomed pronouncement like we've heard seemingly every day for the past half century or so.


This should read:


This kind of rhetoric  is so commonplace that we have become largely inured to it. At first blush, it's another medicare-is-doomed pronouncement as we've heard seemingly every day for the past half century or so.

No comments:

Post a comment