Take that silly thing off right now

Jeff Kerr of CBSSports.com writes, of an NFL player’s helmet visor:

Image-1 copy 2.jpg

“Beckham’s appeared to not fall in compliance with the league rules. Clearly Beckham feels different about the rule.”

I’m not sure about “falling in compliance with” a rule. I thought you could “be in compliance with” a rule, or “comply with” a rule, or “fall within” the rules, but is this phrasing English? All the individual words are English, yes. But the combination is something I’ve never seen.

And then there’s Beckham feeling “different” about the rule. Some days I wake up feeling different, but that’s generally because of what I ate the night before. I think Jeff means Beckham feels “differently” about the rule — because feels  is a verb, and he wants to modify it, which means he needs an adverb, and the adverb would be differently.

All of this is moot, of course, if, unbeknownst to me, the NFL has started to allow writers to wear lightly tinted adverbs, without the requisite ly  at the end.

In which case, ignore everything I just said.


2 thoughts on “Take that silly thing off right now

  1. What about the split infinitive? I know I’m old fashioned, but it sounds awkward to me, compounding the other error.


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