Friday, 27 January 2012

At the Art Gallery of New South Wales

I can't understand what's happened at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Captions on walls are things that are not rushed into overnight and yet the place is littered with captions containing errors:

Presumably that was meant to read 'and wrote a memoir'.

I'm not mad about a principal passion being 'toward' something, although that is not strictly wrong. However, 'looking for way forward' is.
Shall I be boring again and point out that commas should ideally go round in pairs - there is one missing in the above caption. It should be inserted before the word 'anticipated'. Without it, the sentence is very hard to read.
I'm sorry Mr Capon, this maddens me, because it makes me read the sentence over and over again, puzzling about why it doesn't work. Whatever Edmund Capon actually said, the sentence, for the purposes of the poster, would have read better if edited thus: "This is the great Picasso show to which we have often aspired but which we have not yet achieved in Australia". It is the 'to' which makes things difficult, because the verb 'achieve' does not fit with it. You can't say, 'to which we have not yet achieved' and yet that is how the sentence is structured - as it stands, the verb 'achieved' depends on the clause beginning with that 'to'. It won't do.


  1. I must tell my friend who works at AGNSW about this

    1. If you want to get them really worried, you might like to point out that these are only a few of the errors I saw.