Surely he considers himself an educated man

. . . but an error such as this annoys me:

"not even one black firefighter could have been promoted based on the results of the original exam"

The damnable serial past participle. Could he not have recast that sentence?

"could have been promoted on the basis of the results of": clumsy, I'll admit, with daisy-chained prepositions.

"could have been promoted on the results of": is ecoomical and leaves little doubt of the meaning.

It's vexing. Soon enough this construction will be accepted usage.

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