Last night I found Language Log here, a blog written tag-team style by linguists, and a complete blast for language enthusiasts. One of the contributors is Geoffrey Pullum, a distinguished professor at my alma mater. He has authored a new book on English grammar-- find it here.
So here is my language item for the day.
I have been getting a lot of phishing emails lately-- the ones where "your bank" "needs" "you" to "furnish" personal information for "official" reasons, but it's really a scam. I like to read the text of the scam now and then, to see how well (or more often, how badly) the scammers have imitated correct English.
Here is a sentence from the latest one I read; it's pretty good for bad English. Can you spot the infelicity in the parallel construction? And if you can rewrite the sentence in 12 words or fewer, I'll give you a prize.
... one of our most important responsibilities to you, our customer, is the safekeeping of the nonpublic personal ("confidential") information you have entrusted to us and using this information in a responsible manner.
I got down to seven words.