Grammar Goof of the Day

Ya gotta love the j-school grads that staff TV station websites these days. “J-school”: does that stand for “janitorial school”?

This week we have a report of this Herculean accomplishment:

Phoenix police: Man fatally stabbed 80 times, suspect jailed

Think of that! Killed the guy 80 times over! Sort of like the tailor who killed seven in one blow.

Does the old editor really have to hold forth about this moment of hilarity? Okay, okay…look:

You only die once. If you’re stabbed fatally, you’re stabbed fatally once. You do not die and then spring back to life at every blow. It may take 80 jabs to send you off to the other world, but you’re not stabbed fatally 80 times. Well, unless you’re a vampire and your assailant keeps missing your undead heart…

Is there a workaround? One could dream up a few…

Murder victim stabbed 80 times, suspect jailed
Violent knife attack kills man, suspect jailed
Stabbed 80 times, man dies, suspect jailed

If you really wanted to write like a grown-up, you’d replace the comma with a semicolon in that last one. But this is 21st-century journalism: we don’t do that because we don’t know any better and, by and large, neither do our readers.