February 25, 2014

Charles Oliver: Guilty of gruesome grammar

Charles Oliver

— • The New York Post blasted Manhattan’s Murry Bergtraum High School as a “fail factory” that was passing students who had failed to grasp the material in their courses. Administrators responded by urging students to write the newspaper to complain. Bad move. The Post reports that almost every letter it received was filled with spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. For instance, one student wrote, “Us as New York City Students deserve respect and encouragement. We are the future of New York City and for some students, The future of the country.” Another wrote, “To deeply criticize a program that has helped many students especially seniors to graduate I should not see no complaints.”

• In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of General Practitioners says one in 10 patients are unable to see a general practitioner or practice nurse when they need to. They forecast that will translate into 34 million unsuccessful attempts to schedule an appointment with a doctor or nurse this year alone, an increase of 3.4 million unsuccessful attempts from 2013.

• Academic publisher Springer and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers say they will remove more than 120 papers from electronic databases of scholarly articles they operate. A French researcher found that the papers are nothing more than computer-generated gibberish. Yet somehow they were published as part of the proceedings of academic conferences.

• U.S. Rep. John Dingell Jr., D-Mich., has announced he will not seek re-election to a 30th term in Congress this year. Dingell has served in the House of Representatives since 1955. He was elected to fill the seat his father had held for more than 20 years before his death. Dingell’s wife Debbie is considered the front-runner to replace him.

• Christopher Roupe, 17, heard a knock at the door of his Euharlee home. When he opened the door, he was shot in the chest. The bullet killed him. Roupe wasn’t shot by a home invader but by a Euharlee police officer with a warrant for his father. Officials say the officer thought Roupe had a gun in his hand. But neighbors who ran to the scene after hearing the shot say the boy was actually holding a Wii game controller.

• Police in Sabadell, Spain, slapped Ivan Gonzalez with a $135 fine for eating a croissant while riding his bicycle. Gonzalez was ticketed with reckless driving, which will cost him points on his driver’s license.

• Security at Heathrow Airport in London seized a miniature gun from a doll of the “Toy Story” cowboy Woody. But they did allow the owner to board his flight with the doll.

• Two paramedics in Wales have been banned from that profession after refusing to transport Sarah Thomas to a hospital after she called emergency dispatch. Thomas had had her pituitary gland removed during surgery for a brain tumor, but David Glover and Michael Davies didn't ask about any of that. Nor did they check her vital signs, even though she was having trouble breathing and staying conscious. They told her she just had a stomach bug and left her in her home, where she died. Doctors said if she’d gotten prompt treatment Thomas would have lived.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.