Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s postings.
This is a repeat but it needs reemphasis.
“Fewer” is used with objects that can be counted one-by-one.
“There are fewer cars on the road after three am.”
“Less” is used with objects or quantities that cannot be counted individually.
“She worked fewer hours than I did last week.”
“The highest number of deaths were cancer related.”
The subject of the sentence is “number” and it is singular. It demands the singular verb “was”.
“The highest number of deaths was cancer related.”
“The biggest story on the weather front are the weather maps.”
The subject of the sentence is “story” and it is singular. It demands the singular verb “is”. It is, also, poorly worded.
“The biggest story on the weather front is the weather maps.”
“Brace yourself Windsor. Because the worst is yet to come.”
“Because the worst is yet to come” is a subordinate clause and cannot stand by itself; it must be attached to a principal clause to be complete. I do not accept that newspaper writing is allowed such poetic licence.
“Brace yourself Windsor because the worst is yet to come.”
I will limit this discussion to “medium” and “media” as “vehicles of communication”.
“Medium” is singular and refers to one form of communication such as radio.
“Media” is plural and refers to all forms of communication collectively.
Therefore, to refer to TV as media is incorrect; it is only one medium of communication.
“The westbound SUV lost control and went into the eastbound lane…”
The error here is a diction error: the SUV did not lose control; the driver lost control. The sentence should be reworded.
“The driver of the westbound SUV lost control and the vehicle went into the eastbound lane…”
“The Leamington couple were pronounced dead at the scene.”
This is another subject-verb agreement problem.
“The Leamington couple was pronounced dead at the scene.”
“The crash site is one of several sections of 401 that don’t have barriers.”
“One” is the subject and is singular. The verb must also be singular.
“The crash site is one of several sections of 401 that doesn’t have barriers.”
THIS WEEK’S WORDS
“Vitiate” (v.) means to corrupt morally, deprave or debase.
It is pronounced “vish- i-ate”.
“Perturbation” (n.) means discomposure, agitation or an unhappy or worried state of mind.
The root is “perturb”.
“Scurrilous” (adj.) means expressing abusive, insulting contemptuous or scornful reproach.
“Cataclysm” (n.) means a sudden violent change in the earth’s surface, a major upheaval in a social or political nature, a catastrophe.
“Mundane” (adj.) means unremarkable, routine, mediocre or pedestrian in nature.
“Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
Macbeth, William Shakespeare, The Three Sisters, IV. I.
“…the law is a ass, a idiot.”
Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens, Mr. Bumble.