Monday, March 15, 2010

Census Bureau Alert: Your Grasp of Grammar is Poor

I've just finished answering my Census 2010 Questionnaire, and my nose is still out of joint.
Did anyone get a load of the impossible grammar used in the first two questions?
(1) How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment........on April 1, 2010?
(2) Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010......?

--Augh!! It's now March 16th; most of us have already received our forms, or are shortly about to, so HOW can "were" be in the same sentence referring to "on April 1, 2010"? Can the person who devised the questionnaire's language actually be that ignorant of the subjunctive mode, which he/she should have used? "Were" means past tense as used here, period. The only way this language could be correct is if we all got the forms AFTER April 1st.

The rush to the bottom, intellectually speaking, proceeds ever apace.

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