Can You Spot the Error?

Jan 22, 2007

RAY: A long-time customer named Pell Osborne was at the shop a few days ago and he brought his young son William along. While we discussed Pell's car, William was looking around the shop and within a few minutes, he saw that the sign that had been hanging up there for twenty years had a punctuation mistake.

He said, "That sign's not right." I was embarrassed. But his dad explained that it was kind of a hobby of his son's to find either grammatical or punctuation or spelling mistakes. So, I took the kid in the corner and gave him a couple of noogies to his head, and I got him to give me a puzzler.

This is a word puzzler. I am going to read three sentences. There's a mistake in one of them. And I'm going to try to read them as clearly as I possibly can.

A recent space shuttle mission almost ended in disaster.

While the shuttle and the international space station were engaged in their docking operation, the two crafts almost collided.

A quick thinking crew member saved the day.

What's the error?
RAY: Sentence number two has the mistake.

I'll read it again.

"While the shuttle and the international space station were engaged in their docking operation the two crafts -"

TOM: Ah ha! It should be, "craft."

RAY: Exactly right. There's no "S" on the end of "craft" unless you're at, say, an Arts and Crafts show. So, who's our winner?

TOM: The winner this week is Marita Ray from Suffolk, Virginia. And for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Marita is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at with which she can get a Car Talk long-sleeve football-style jersey. It's perfect for the demanding task of lying on the couch, eating junk food and watching football games. You need a special jersey to do that, you know.

RAY: And this is just the jersey for it!

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