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A shocking new SEC / Madoff revelation

September 2, 2009

“Shocking,” is the adjective that comes to Rocky’s mind after perusing the SEC Inspector General’s report on the  botched handling of Bernie Madoff.

Rocky is shocked and appalled by the multiple grammar and syntax errors in the Inspector General’s report.  Rocky’s tennth-grade Inglish teacher, Mrs. Calabash wud have flunkked that authhor (along with Rocky too, of course.)

Rocky’s readers, with sharp red pencils at the ready, can find the SEC Inspector General’s report here:

http://sec.gov/spotlight/secpostmadoffreforms/oig-509-exec-summary.pdf

[Note: Any reader who correctly identifies five or more grammar errors should notify Rocky, and claim a unique prize of dubious monetary value.  And to Mrs. Calabash, “Good night, whereever you are!”]

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  1. September 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    In the interests of justice and the American Way, I must recuse myself from your challenge regarding the grammatical errors because I took two years of Latin in high school and so have an advantage and gentlemen never seek to take advantage. (Except in poker…)

  2. Simon O
    September 3, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Hey Rocky,

    I read your piece today about the report finding that the SEC was incompetent when investigating fraud accusations against Madoff. One thing I don’t see a lot of blogs or journalists pointing out is that many of these failures to investigate happened under Bush-appointed chairman Chris Cox, who was widely quoted as being a “devoted student of Ayn Rand, the high priestess of unfettered capitalism”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/03/business/03cox.html?_r=1

    This might shed some light into why the SEC wasn’t particularly keen on investigating Madoff in the last few years.

    Anyway, I thought this was something that might interest you and your readers, either as an update to your original piece or as a follow-up.

    take care,
    Simon

  3. fatbear
    September 3, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    5 or more mistakes:

    “Shocking,” – incorrect use of comma

    ateth-grade – say what?

    English teacher, Mrs. Calabash would have – missing comma after “Calabash”

    well, 3 at the minimum – pot, meet kettle

  4. September 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Fatbear:
    1) If you consult the NY Times style book, that is the correct usage. Strunk & White may have a different view, however.
    2) atheth-grade. (Rocky planted this as a [sic] …) Duh!
    3) Again, this seems to conform to the NY Times style book. Presumably the Times does that to save some ink.

    BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, the SEC has 3,771 employees and a nearly $1 Billion budge.
    Rocky has a Dell inspiron computer which cost $1200 and a NY Times Manual of Style ($11.53)

    http://www.sec.gov/about/secfy09congbudgjust.pdf
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081296389X

  5. fatbear
    September 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    The misuse of the comma in the first instance comes from:
    Grammar English’s Famous Rule of Punctuation: Never use only one comma between a subject and its verb.

    (In your case, “”Shocking”” is the subject and “is” the verb; “”Shocking”” is not a quote.)

    item the 3rd – “seems to conform” – hmmm, as my late mother would opine – does it really say that a parenthetical element can be set off by one preceding comma? Without a closing comma? My, my.

    also re the Times, a friend was there back in the ’60’s, when they dropped the final “.” from the front page masthead (“The New York Times.” to “The New York Times”) to save ink – true story

    And while the SEC may have a large budge [sic], I see no reason why its waistline has anything to do with your thesis.

  6. September 3, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Fatbear — if you believe that it should be shocking (no quotes) instead of “shocking” … then Rocky would agree that there would be no trailing comma. However, the use of the term “shocking” as a quote is a literary allusion to the movie Casablanca. (Google famous quotes from Casablanca for more details.) Technically, it should have been in italics too.

    Perhaps you also missed the additional literary allusion to Jimmy Durante???

    As to the girth of the SEC …
    “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

    Thanks for your comments!!! Much appreciated!

  7. ld
    September 3, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I don’t know which I enjoyed more in this case – the post or the comments. 🙂 What I find incredible, actually “shocking” (with or without quotes) is that Rocky paid $1200 for a Dell Inspiron.

  8. ld
    September 3, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    104 copies of the NY Times Manual of Style would have been a better investment.

  9. September 4, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Ld:
    The $1200 Inspiron was a few years ago, and it included a very high-end graphics card…for a quad-monitor system.

    If the price of natural gas was skyrocketing (instead of collapsing), and the price of heating oil was going vertical too, then 104 copies of the NY Times Manual of Style could have made more sense too … for heating purposes. (That’s a reference to Fahrenheit 451) 😉
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451

  10. September 4, 2009 at 9:39 am

    You know, Rocky, (note comma usage) this is not the first time fakename has been sucked into one of your challenges in order to claim a prize of dubious monetary value. If Madoff (aka Madeoff..with our money) was the king of unlikely returns, you are his equal and opposite. (No offense intended.) In this case, fakename is unable to even compete, since it would mean having to actually read the Inspector General’s report. After the first two pages, fakename woke up to find her face on the keyboard, having repeatedly typed the letter “H” with her right eyelashes. It does appear that the report concludes that nobody did anything wrong, except for doing everything wrong.
    Don’t lose hope on that natural gas thing. Tallahassee uses only natural gas, although in times of peak need, it is allowed to cheat and buy from elsewhere. (Chiefly, Jacksonville, which has a nuclear plant.) Only recently did they change the ordinance which says they cannot buy power from coal plants in any neighboring county. But hell will surely freeze over before any coal or biomass plants are located near here. “Coal” (note use of quotation marks) is the ugly secret which dare not speak its name around these parts. If I were a betting man…oh wait, I can’t be a man, so I can’t be a betting man…I would put my money in coal.

  11. September 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    SEC Tag-line …

    The Securities Exchange Commission – we put the “K” in Kwality.

    🙂

  12. September 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I like this, George. I like “oversight” as a word. It means we are lookimg over your head with binoculars. Look! The sky is blue! Wait! There is an eagle! Is that cool or what?

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