Archive for the '<faulty comparison>' Category

Rachel, Angelina, and a Faulty Comparison

June 2, 2006

Rachel Weisz gave birth to a baby boy this week, but the excitement surrounding his birth is nothing like Angelina Jolie's baby girl.

This sentence contains a faulty comparison. What is being compared? The first part of the comparison is "the excitement surrounding his birth." The second part of the comparison is "Angelina Jolie's baby girl." It is not logical to compare excitement to a baby girl. To correct this error, restructure the sentence to create a logical comparison.

Rachel Weisz gave birth to a baby boy this week, but the excitement surrounding his birth is nothing like the hubbub about Angelina Jolie's baby girl.

This sentence compares excitement to a hubbub. This is a logical comparison. This sentence is correct.

Brad, Britney, and a Faulty Comparison

May 24, 2006

Are Brad Pitt's parenting skills as bad as Britney Spears? When he took his infant daughter on a bike ride, she did not wear a helmet and she was carried in a baby-pack that has instructions that warn against using it while riding a bike.

The first sentence contains a faulty comparison. What is being compared? The comparison is between "parenting skills" and "Britney Spears." A person should not be compared to skills. Skills should be compared to skills.

Modify the sentence to create a comparison that is logical:

Are Brad Pitt's parenting skills as bad as Britney Spears' child-rearing abilities?

or

Are Brad Pitt's parenting skills as bad as those of Britney Spears?

Oprah and a Faulty Comparison

May 22, 2006

Oprah Winfrey has reportedly signed a deal to write a book about weight loss. Her advance is said to be more than Bill Clinton, who received $12 million to write his autobiography, My Life.

The second sentence contains a faulty comparison. The expression "more than" indicates that there is a comparison, but what two things are being compared? In this sentence, "her advance" is compared to "Bill Clinton." This is not logical. A thing should not be compared to a person. Oprah's advance should be compared to Bill Clinton's advance. Restructure the sentence so that the comparison is logical.

Oprah Winfrey has reportedly signed a deal to write a book about weight loss. Her advance is said to be more than the $12 million Bill Clinton received to write his autobiography, My Life.

M:i:III and a Faulty Comparison

May 14, 2006

The opening-day revenues for "Mission Impossible:III" were less than "Mission Impossible:II."

This sentence is incorrect because it contains a faulty comparison. What is being compared in this sentence? Revenues are compared to a movie; this is not logical. Revenues should be compared to revenues. Revise the sentence so that the comparison makes sense:

The opening-day revenues for "Mission Impossible:III" were less than the debut revenues for "Mission Impossible:II."