(Part of the larger “Jamie’s Spelling and Grammatical Pet Peeves” department.)

What with a conflict between the President and one of his generals leading the news, it seemed like a really good time to bring this peeve up.

I have been seeing (and hearing!) this phrase a lot lately: “The President is the Commander and Chief …”

Not quite.

From the United States Constitution, Section 2, Clause 1:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; [ … ]

Commander in Chief. Not “and.”

The mistake’s an easy one to make, goodness knows. Most of us haven’t read the Constitution in a long time; and it’s easy to hear the word “and” when someone’s actually saying “in” (especially if they are speaking quickly or with less-than-perfectly-precise diction).

I just wanted to point it out, because it really does bug me.

Constitutional Pet Peeve
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