In July of this year, lawmakers in New Hampshire passed a bill that was meant to combat fetal homicide. In a bizarre turn of events, some vague language and incorrect grammar created a loophole that allowed pregnant women to get away with murder... at least for a short period of time.
Do you remember this phrase from grammar class?
Here is another favorite example of the importance of correct grammar.Your professor was correct when they said that correct grammar can be the difference between life or death. We can feel a light breeze from a wave of 400 English teachers waving their fists in indignation. (That's a teacher for every member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.)
Grammar is proving still relevant in 2017.Some people would argue that the second version of this sentence is accurate. People were drooling over the actor who played the demonic clown, Pennywise, in this year's rendition of 'IT'. See, comma placement is important!
People make grammar mistakes with murderous and cannibalistic implications more often than you'd expect.We hope no one is eating children in any area. This sign implies that dog owners need to clean up the mess created by cannibalistic murderers in the park.
People have strong feelings about the correct usage of 'your' and 'you're'.While it may seem silly to argue over apostrophes and misplaced commas, incorrect usage can have a real effect on the world. And just recently, four hundred lawmakers in New Hampshire learned this lesson the hard way.
The New Hampshire senate bill, which was passed last month, was made to increase punishments for those who commit crimes against pregnant women.
via: ShutterstockBefore this bill, if someone crashed into a car carrying a pregnant woman in New Hampshire (resulting in death), the perpetrator would be charged with the manslaughter of one person. The new bill would instead charge the driver with the manslaughter of two people if the fetus is older than 20 weeks. Laws like this already exist in 38 states in the United States.
The lawmakers added a clause to exclude pregnant women from this punishment, so that women who get abortions won't be charged with manslaughter.
via: ShutterstockThe bill said, "any act committed by the pregnant woman" would not be considered second-degree murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide. It was a poor choice of words. The vague wording literally meant that all of a sudden, a pregnant woman could do anything and not be charged with second-degree murder.