Today a story thudded onto the engine-room floor which had me reaching for the OED.
It refered to a driver who was prosecuted for failing to take regular breaks which the law 'compelled him to do'. A moment's thought and a quick definition check confirmed that the author should have written 'required him to do'.
Why? Because the OED tells us that compel is 'to force or oblige [someone] to do something' and the whole point of the story was that the individual concerned hadn't.
The ambiguous Oxford comma
1 week ago