2 adults charged with promoting minors’ sex abuse

Es­ti­mated reading time is 1 minute.

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (No­vember 4, 2013, page B2), comes this head­line: “2 Adults Charged With Pro­moting Mi­nors’ Sex Abuse.” I know what it means to say, but the place­ment of the words is tech­ni­cally in­cor­rect and confusing.

The apos­trophe at the end of mi­nors (mi­nors’) makes the word pos­ses­sive. So, what do these mi­nors pos­sess? Sex abuse! Sex abuse is the ob­ject of the pos­ses­sive noun “mi­nors’.”

The sen­tence is saying that a pair of adults were en­cour­aging two or more mi­nors in sex­u­ally abusing someone or something.

To avoid this, the head­line should have read “2 adults charged with pro­moting sex abuse of minors.”

Alas, it’s too late . . 



HEADER IMAGE: The car­toon at the top of this page is by Signe Wilkinson for The Philadel­phia Inquirer.


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