Below are the corrections and explanations for last week’s postings.
“Dissemble” means to be dishonest, to lie or to hide the truth of one’s actions.
“Disassemble” means to take apart or break down something. It is the antonym of “assemble”.
“Exorcise” means to try to drive out evil spirits.
“Exercise” is the exertion one uses in a workout.
“Stand” is military concept and means to resist or stop something such as in “take a stand against terrorism”.
“Stance” is a position one takes such as a dancer or a batter might do. It has nothing to do with defending against something.
Under what circumstances could the following be considered correct?
“Windsor and Essex County is welcoming ambassadors from around the world this week.”
Windsor and Essex County would have to be considered a single entity to justify the use of the singular verb “is”. I suggest they are two places and the verb should be plural.
“Windsor and Essex County are welcoming ambassadors from around the world this week.”
“Libel” means defamation or malicious damaging by means of the written word or with pictures. “Libel” can be used as a noun or a verb.
“Slander” means malicious, false or defamatory statements against another. “Slander” can be used as a noun or a verb.
“Right” means correct, accurate or true.
“Rite” is a ceremony, a formal procedure or a service.
“Write” means to compose or put words on paper.
“Wright” is a workman or a construction person such as in a playwright or a millwright.
MAJORITY – SINGULAR or PLURAL?
“Majority of cops don’t want OPP.”
“A majority of the members of the Essex Police Association have voted against joining the OPP…”
“The majority of people don’t welcome change…”
“Majority” is a collective noun which may be either singular or plural, depending upon the context.
If the reference is to many individuals, the word can be plural.
If the reference is to the group, as a whole, the word is singular.
I suggest that each of the three examples is the latter and, therefore, each verb should be singular.
“Majority of cops doesn’t want OPP.”
“A majority of the members of the Essex Police Association has voted against joining the OPP…”
“The majority of people doesn’t welcome change…”
A REALISTIC PHILOSOPHY
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Cassius said this in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar. Basically, he is saying that man’s fate is not determined by outside forces such as the stars. This is the root interpretation. Add what you like beyond that.
“To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.”
THIS WEEK’S WORDS
“Excoriate” (v.) means to condemn, rebuke or decry.
“Miasma” (n.) means an unwholesome atmosphere or unhealthy vapours.
“Smarmy” (adj.) means fawning, obsequious, fulsome or boot-licking.
“Bravura” (n.) means a florid or passionate display. It is a musical term but can be applied to a person’s actions.
“Peripatetic” (adj.) means aimless, drifting or footloose.