CORRECTIONS & EXPLANATIONS – July 8, 2007
WHICH IS CORRECT?
The climate in both places are mild.
“Climate” is the subject and is singular and must have a singular verb.
The climate in both places is mild.
A group of senators is calling for an investigation.
“Group” is the subject and is singular and must have a singular verb.
A group of senators were calling for an investigation.
Neither her brothers nor Mary knows what happened.
This sentence is correct. When using “neither”/”nor” the noun immediately preceding the verb is the determining factor; “Mary” is singular so the verb must be singular.
What is the difference between “sensuous” and “sensual”?
“Sensual” usually relates to excessive physical desires and implies sexy or voluptuous.
“Sensuous” means of or pertaining to the senses and usually has aesthetic connotations.
What is the difference between “median” and “medium”?
“Median” is the middle number in a sequence of numbers. It is also the ground between highway lanes.
“Medium” is a balance between extremes, the middle. It also means the environment in which something exists.
“Parameters” have come to mean a set of physical properties or a characteristic of something.
“Perimeters” means the outer borders or circumferences of figures.
Create your own sentences.
“Because the city’s hired gun on border issues has apparently been muzzled by city politicians and prevented from speaking to the city residents who pay his salary.”“Because” is a subordinate conjunction which means that the thought after it is dependent and cannot stand by itself. Therefore the sentence above is an incomplete thought.
“The city’s hired gun on border issues has apparently been muzzled by city politicians and prevented from speaking to the city residents who pay his salary.’
“Backward” is an adjective or an adverb.
His backward glance at the girl was furtive and lecherous
“Backwards” is an adverb only.
Michael Jackson walks backwards when he moonwalks.
IS ANYTHING WRONG IN THE SENTENCE BELOW?
She used all kind of objects in her juggling act.
“Kind” in this context must be plural because it refers to many objects. Multiple objects are not “kind”.
She used all kinds of objects in her juggling act.
“Complement” (n., v.) means that which makes perfect or completes something.
She will wear a string of pearls to complement her dress.
“Nirvana” (n.) means freedom from pain, worry, and the external world; a state of bliss.
One can achieve a sense of nirvana through the practice of Zen.
“Exculpatory” (adj.) means tending to clear from a charge or fault or guilt. Its roots in Latin are “ex” meaning “out of” and “culpa” meaning fault.
The lawyer presented exculpatory evidence to prove his client innocent.
“Excoriate” (v.) means to flay, remove the skin from, or censure.
Cruel generals often excoriate their underlings to bring them to submission.
“Supercilious” (adj.) means haughtily disdainful or contemptuous in bearing.
The self-centred actor had a supercilious sneer on his face when he encountered the extras on the set.