I can’t resist posting this tw**t from Nick Bilton, a columnist for the New York Times (sent by reader Barry):
And a screenshot of the correction in situ:
And here’s the original error, appearing in a column called “My life in bicycles,” by Jennifer Finney Boylan:
I prefer exercising at least two miles away from any other human being. For me, biking is a solitary activity. In the Kennebec Highlands, on my mountain bike, I pedal past Kidder Pond, up to the blueberry barrens high atop Vienna Mountain. From there, I watch bald eagles and ospreys, and other birds, whose poop, owing to their diet of berries, stains the gray rocks purple. Sometimes I’ve run into deer and porcupines, and on one memorable occasion, a moose. Another time, I lay with my back against a tree, watching a beaver build a dam in Boody Pond.
In fact, the passage seems ambiguous, for the purple poop might be attributed to the “other birds” rather than the eagles and ospreys. However, and perhaps a grammarian can weigh in here, the common between “and other birds” and “whose poop” might imply that eagles, ospreys, and “other birds” are a set, all producing purple poop. It would have been less ambiguous without that comma. Where’s Pinker when we need him?