A Word with Beth — I Can Really Get INTO This Grammar Problem!

From Beth Stillborn:

So, here’s my example.
A notice appeared on the school bulletin board: “Whoever ran the gym teacher’s socks up the flagpole should turn himself or herself into the principal immediately.”
There’s a problem with that sentence. Do you see what it is? You’ve likely taken note of the capitalized word in the post title, which is a rather blatant hint.
The last time I checked, it takes quite a while to become a principal. It isn’t going to happen immediately. We know the student isn’t being asked to transform him or herself into the principal, but that’s what the wording implies.
When someone reports to authorities, they don’t turn themselves into the authorities, they turn themselves in to the authorities. There’s a subtle difference, but it’s a difference.

Learn more at Beth Stillborn.

Image source Pixabay.

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