Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If You Can Keep Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs And Blaming It On Fruit Flies...

In a story called "Wi-Fi Wants To Be Free" on Slate today, tech writer Farhad Manjoo hails Starbucks' decision to begin offering free internet access in all of their company-owned locations. He starts off by lamenting the current situation, writing:

...Starbucks has always been a nice place to get some work done...And if you just need a quick pit stop to charge your phone, transfer photos to your laptop, or play a little Minesweeper, the Starbucks mermaid is always just around the corner, whether you're in Boston, Bangor or Beijing. Convenience has no borders. 
Unless, of course, if you want to use the Internet.
It's that if in the last sentence that stands out like a cinnamon stick in an iced frappuccino. What we have here is a startling case of a misplaced conditional prepositional ablative in E-minor. Okay, so I have no idea what to call it, and I'm too busy electrocuting wine-mooching fruit flies with my bug zapper wand to find out. Nevertheless, I'm sure we can all agree that the sentence would read better if the if were removed.