Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Prepositionalist Incongruousness

If you read only one print excerpt of a recap of a series of blog posts on the discussions of a book club about the novel The Sentimentalists, it should be today's piece in The Vancouver Sun. In it you will find one of the panelists quoting a passage from the book that includes this sentence:
When I questioned Parada about the incongruencies between my father's stories and the documents to which I was later able to compare them to, he had little to offer by way of explanation.
You won't find the word incongruency in any major dictionary (at least I didn't) but a cursory Googling and a quick visit to Wordnik shows that it's getting a lot of lexicographical traction. I like it. In the example above, the word suggests that the differences between the father's stories and the documents are not just inconsistent, but oddly so. So rather than "incongruent inconsistencies" we get "incongruencies." Cool.

Not so cool, however, is the doubling down on prepositions in the phrase "to which I was later able to compare them to," which will hereafter be referred to simply as "The Paul McCartney Error."