In Which I Get to Snark About Grammar

Wednesday night, I went to an Oscar prediction “party” sponsored by Portland’s major daily newspaper.  It was enjoyable and informative, but I put the word “party” in quotation marks because the event consisted almost entirely of an hour’s presentation by the paper’s movie critic, held in a small space that was sort of a cross between a collegiate lecture room (rows of theater-style seats on two levels, some tables in the back) and a theater lobby.

As I say, I enjoyed the event well enough.  However, I got home Thursday evening to find an emailed note asking me to fill out a feedback survey on the event.  And the survey included the following question:

5. How unique was the event?

Now remember, this was an event sponsored by a newspaper, with the survey link having been mailed by someone with “name-of-newspaper-dot-com” in their e-address.  It may be optimistic of me in the present day and age, but I retain the fond delusion that employees of newspapers ought to use words properly.

This, therefore, is part of the response I included in the survey question where one is asked “is there anything else you’d like to share?”

Also, a note regarding one of the survey questions above: the question misuses the word “unique”.  THERE ARE NO DEGREES OF UNIQUENESS.  Either something is unique or it is not.  The question therefore makes no sense, and the individual who drafted it should be required to carry a hardcover copy of The Chicago Manual of Style wherever he or she goes for at least the next two weeks, with Post-Its inserted to mark the relevant pages (170 and 231 in the 15th edition).

I don’t anticipate receiving a personal response to this, but perhaps they’ll surprise me….