Below are the corrections and explanations for last week’s postings.
“Raise” means “to make higher,” “build” or “nurture and cause to grow”. It is normally transitive.
“Rise” means “to get up” or “become elevated”. It is never transitive.
Read the following sentences and choose the correct verb form:
The subjects are all plural and demand plural verbs.
1. The girls (have, has) prepared a lunch.
The girls have prepared a lunch.
2. Many of the neighbours (has, have) gone to the picnic.
Many of the neighbours have gone to the picnic.
3. At the door (sit, sits) Dick and Tom.
At the door sit Dick and Tom.
4. Hail and frost often (injure, injures) the fruit crops.
Hail and frost often injure the fruit crops.
INTENT vs MEANING
Read the sentence below. Try to determine what the author intended. Explain whether or not he used the correct wording. If you think it is incorrect, fix it.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m anxious as hell to hear the reasons for the university’s alleged thumbs-down on downtown.”
I suggest there is no anxiety in wanting the reasons but, instead, keenness to hear the results. Therefore, “anxious” is the wrong word.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m eager as hell to hear the reasons for the university’s alleged thumbs-down on downtown.”
“Between” is with two people or things. Never use “to” with “between”.
“Among” is used when discussing three or more people or things.
He travelled between New York and Toronto.
His choice of teams was among the Tigers, the Yankees and the Blue Jays.
Use the word “amount” with quantities that cannot be counted and “number” with quantities that could be counted one-by-one.
“He had a small amount of money left.”
“He had a small number of bills in his pocket.”
1. She is a very unique personality.
“Unique” means “one of a kind”. It is an absolute and cannot be compared.
She is a unique personality.
2. He drew an extremely straight line on the page.
“Straight” means “without bending”. It is an absolute and cannot be qualified.
He drew an extremely straight line on the page.
3. They were very overwhelmed with emotion.
Either one is “overwhelmed” (overtaken) or one is not. It is an absolute and cannot be qualified.
They were overwhelmed with emotion.
4. “You are so right!”
Either one is “right” or one is “wrong”. There is no in between. It is an absolute and cannot be qualified.
“You are right!”
THIS WEEK’S WORDS
“Emasculate” (v.) means to deprive of strength, vigour or masculinity, to be made effeminate.
“Exactitude” (n.) means accuracy or correctness.
“Depravity” (n.) means impairment of virtue or morals, depraved or morally perverted.
“Lugubrious” (adj.) means anguished, excessively mournful or suffering.
“Sylvan” (adj.) means shady, woody or inhabiting the woods.
All the world ’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”
As You Like It, Jacques, Act II. Sc. Vii. (Get a copy of the play if you want the rest.)