Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's wrong with this sentence?

The following sentence appears in a recently-published book about Canadian history:

"After Ontario, Québec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick became provinces within the new Dominion of Canada in 1867, after the federal government purchased Rupert's Land in 1869, and after British Columbia became a Canadian province in 1871, Canada became a coast-to-coast political entity encompassing a vast array of geographies and cultures."

This book was short-listed for a number of awards, so it will likely attract a reasonable-sized readership among the academic community.  I'm not sure who should be most embarrassed by this rather glaring error - the scholarly press, the copy editor, the peer reviewers, or the author - all of whom should have had at least a passing familiarity with the Confederation-era development of Canada.

I started off by reading the introduction and conclusion, and so I have yet to make my way through the main chapters of the book to get into its main subject matter (which is not about Canada's political development, thank goodness), but this has left a rather bad first impression.

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At 9:09 p.m., Blogger Skinny Dipper said...

I'll have to double check. Didn't PEI become a province in 1873?

At 4:25 p.m., Blogger Brian Busby said...

Factual errors aside, I can't help but think that is just the sort of inelegant, awkward prose leads some to believe our history is boring.


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