Who’s on first?

From a Time story about Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh:

  • “…Kavanaugh sided with Alito 91% of the time in his first term.”

Whose first time? Kavanaugh’s? Or Alito’s?

Those rotten little possessive pronouns — his, her, their, its — will get you sued one of these days.

Don’t be afraid to say someone’s name a second time in a sentence — like this: “Kavanaugh sided with Alito 91% of the time in Alito’s first term.” (Actually, this isn’t possible. Kavanaugh wasn’t on the court during Alito’s first term. But what if you didn’t have encyclopedic knowledge of Supreme Court history when you came across this sentence in Time magazine? You would have to rely on the writing for your information! Just imagine.)

(Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case.)

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