An absurd typo needs a legislative fixRight they are. There's a cardinal sin in the writing world - losing track of proper syntax because of a sentence's complexity.
In Fairfax County recently, a man who failed to stop for a school bus unloading students was acquitted because of a typo.
Apparently, the law making such an action a reckless driving offense was amended back in 1970, and lawmakers left off the word "at." The section reads, "A person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children."
Yep. Strip away the clauses, and the law says, "A person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop any school bus which is stopped for the purpose of taking on or discharging children." [link]
I guess I find this interesting because I have been accused, over the years, of writing excessively long sentences with far too many clauses, using in the process more commas than you can count. I try, with the launch of such gems, to go back and make sure, by removing those clauses one at a time, that I've got my sentence right. And that it hasn't confused the crap out of my readers.
"On the twelfth of November, when I was reflecting on hot cocoa, because it was very chilly outside and because I enjoy hot cocoa, thinking I'd heat up some milk, the very last cup of milk in the refrigerator, as the wind whistled and rattled the door."
Very descriptive. But it ain't a sentence.
Here's to Dan Radmacher. Or whoever caught this. Good stuff.