Steve’s Hall of Shame:* A photo of he

“A photo of he”? This doesn’t even rate a he-he. This ghastly grammar was in Trains magazine’s 75th anniversary issue (November 2015). A few pages later, there was a reference to the “Power River Basin” (actually it’s the Powder River Basin), where coal is mined and shipped by rail to provide electric power. In its golden years, under David P. Morgan, Trains was a carefully edited magazine.

Don’t let this happen to you: Run a spelling and grammar check on everything. Even Microsoft Word, which is not an electric grammar guru (but is getting better), flagged “a photo of he” when I typed the awful sentence into a Word file. To distinguish among the Powder River, electric power, and maybe the Power River and electric powder, there’s no alternative to paying close attention to every word.

* “Steve’s Hall of Shame” is what one writer called my collection of bloopers. I decided to keep the name.

Postscript: I was editing version 10 of a document I’d worked on before when I spied powder instead of power. I immediately opened version 8 (version 9 had escaped editing), and there it was. Shame on me!


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