Great Law & Order Grammar Moment

Back before Michael Moriarty left when Law & Order was fresh and captivating . . .

In "Wages of Love," the Season 2 episode that I believe to be largely based on the Mrs. Harris case, Cerreta pushes his partner to reopen a case. Instead of arresting the female victim's boyfriend, they should be arresting the male victim's wife.

About the son of this totally dysfunctional family, he says to Logan, "Why did he say, 'My mother wouldn't kill my father.' Why didn't he say, 'My mother didn't kill my father'?"

Later, Cerreta and Logan present their conclusions to their boss.

"You want to reopen 'cause the kid used the wrong tense?" exclaims Cragen.

Ah. Yes, the difference between tenses or, rather, the difference between modal verbs (see below) does matter--to English teachers and Hollywood scriptwriters.

This is when I remark, "They don't make television like they used to . . ."

Except, okay, truthfully, Hollywood scriptwriters are constantly working grammar and vocabulary issues into their scripts.

So, more to follow . . .

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