15 Comments

  1. I infer that the offspring is the defendant and the jury is letting her off after some egregious grammar faux pas. IMHO, the chances are that she is guilty — and frequently so. The trial transcript would probably be interesting. (Curiously, my spelling checker wants to make that “probbly” and I have no idea why.)

  2. I figured the foreman must be making some egregious grammar mistakes to get the glare from the plaintiff. However, all I can think of is “their offspring” instead of “her offspring.” I’m not sure that’s enough to be the joke, but maybe?

  3. Well, let’s see. “Police” is a plural noun, so “their” would be a correct reference, no? Yet here we see only one police officer.

    But wait: we also have “We the jury.”

    As far as I know, Ms Price isn’t from the UK, but in the land of such sentences as “The government are preparing an incentive scheme” and “The family were accused of persecuting their children,” neither of these would be cause for conviction.

  4. OK. This is fascinating. I searched up this comic on its facebook page. The author posts the comic complaining that the syndicate editors changed the text and ruined the joke. Apparently, normally they inform the cartoonist before publication of any changes, but didn’t this time.

    The text was supposed to be, “IN THE CASE OF THE GRAMMAR POLICE vs. THEIR OFFSPRING.. US, THE JURY, FIND THE DEFENDANT NOT GUILTY”

  5. Folly’s de-corrected dialog notwithstanding, I initially thought that the plaintiff’s shocked reaction was not just because of the verdict, but because she (a singular person) was referred to with a plural noun (police) and preposition (their). The effect wasn’t nearly as effective as “…us…” would have been, but it was (barely) sufficient to qualify as a joke.
    P.S. @ LeVieuxLapin – “…isn’t from the UK, but in the land of such sentences as “The government are preparing…
    Wait a minute: the UK is indeed the land of such singular plurals as “Manchester are playing Arsenal…“, in contrast to “New York is playing Washington…“. If I ever heard – “The government are preparing…“, I would immediately assume it was BBC news, and not ABC.

  6. It was a standing anecdote in academic Linguistics that when a style of analysis was coming in that involved displaying malformed sentences as “starred examples”, authors found that copy editors at the publishing house were trying to “correct” those intentionally off-kilter examples.

  7. And I remember using one of these books in prep school: I threw it away because I couldn’t remember what was right and what wasn’t; it wasn’t helping at all.

  8. It’s hard to tell at this resolution, but I think if the Facebook story about the copy editing change is correct, then we would have to believe that the syndicate is also responsible for the lettering. It appears awfully clean for “hand drawn”, but there are more variant forms than could be explained by a computer font.

  9. Or they copy/pasted from other letters in the speech bubble. The E is good but the W looks like assembled bits of Ns instead of the usual Ws found in other issues of this comic.

  10. @ Mitch4 – “… authors found that copy editors … were trying to “correct” those intentionally off-kilter examples…
    According to one of Roddenberry’s anecdotes in “The Making of Star Trek”, initial screen tests of the green dancing girl in the first pilot were unsuccessful, so they kept increasing the intensity of the makeup. They later discovered that the film processing lab had not been informed, and had been “correcting” the color balance when printing the negatives, so that the girl would have a normal complexion. Ooops.

  11. I don’t know if it is a standard font, but somebody asked the same question about how could the editors change the lettering. The answer was that ‘it is all digital’

  12. When I was a kid, my family took a trip out west and visited Red Rocks Park which is notable for its rust-red colored rocks. Dad took Kodachrome slide pictures. All the rocks came out blue in the pictures. I understand the Kodachrome developing process is extremely complex but does it involve color correction?

  13. As I understand it, the reason why “Manchester are ahead” and “Chicago Is ahead” is that the Brits treat the team (or MPs, or whatever) as individuals and the Yanks treat the institution as the subject entity. That is, “The players of Manchester have taken the lead” but “The team from Chicago has taken the lead.”

    And I’d consider the “Us, the jury” version of the comic to be fairly funny, unlike the “corrected” version.

    Also, I love Kilby’s Star Trek story. I’ve had similar experiences with “corrected” text.

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