Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
Find and correct the errors in the following piece. There may be only one error, if you accept tired clichés.
“Police took off after him and a brief chase ensuing.”
“Ensuing” is misused. The present participle is used and it should be the past participle.
I suggest that “took off after” is a trite, poorly constructed expression that should be replaced.
“Police spotted him and a brief chase ensued.”
Find and correct the error in the following piece.
BONUS: get a Gold Star by identifying the irony cited in the title of this unit.
“Women who are of no threat to society, mostly battered and abused women who were either unjustly convicted or got sentences far harsher than they deserved.”
This is an incomplete thought because there is no principal verb.
The irony is that the writer is a university faculty member teaching journalistic writing and he cannot compose a complete thought.
This is just my opinion, but I would suggest that the writer’s presumed skill level should preclude him from using such a trite word as “got”.
“Michigan jails house dozens of women who are of no threat to society and are mostly battered and abused women who were either unjustly convicted or received sentences far harsher than they deserved.”
“Wreath” is a noun referring to a circular band of foliage or flowers.
“Wreath” rhymes with “teeth” when pronounced.
“The Christmas wreath over the mantle was woven from fresh cedar boughs and fresh fruit and was beautiful.”
“Wreathe” is a verb meaning to enwrap or encircle with foliage.
“Wreathe” rhymes with “breathe”.
“We will wreathe the entire room with streamers and balloons and have a great, festive party.”
“Wreath” and “wreathe” have the same root; the noun form is the item; the verb form is the action of wrapping or encircling.
“Overtake” is a verb meaning to catch up with and pass someone, to outclass or to be affected by something.
“The rookie driver said he would overtake the old pro in the final lap of the race and he did.”
“Takeover” is a noun referring to a change in control or a seizure of power.
“The takeover by the guerillas resulted in the destruction of the entire economy of the country.”
“Take over” is a verbal word phrase meaning to assume control or to seize power.
“I promise you we will take over the running of the company and will reverse the huge losses that have almost wiped it off the face of the manufacturing map.”
“Meteoroid” refers to a chunk of rock out in space.
“Meteor” is the streak of light a “meteoroid makes if it plummets down through the earth’s atmosphere.
“Meteorite” is what that chunk of “meteoroid” is called if it lands on the ground.
GREAT DEPTH WORTH REMEMBERING
“Never let you sense of morals get in the way of doing what is right.”
Isaac Asimov, a scholar and novelist who lived from 1920 to 1992, wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Accrete” (v.) means to grow together, to blend, to meld, to accumulate or to pile up.
“Trees that are planted too close together accrete into an impenetrably mass and only the strongest will survive.”
“Halcyon” (adj.) means joyful and carefree, marked by peace and prosperity, fine, mild or temperate.
“The old man remembered his halcyon days of knights and pirates with beautiful damsels with fondness and gratitude.”
“Wanton” (v.) means to spend wastefully, to behave cruelly and brutally, to act lewdly or lasciviously.
“Wanton” can also be used as a noun or an adjective.
“His wanton overuse of a substantial inheritance resulted in broken hearts and unfulfilled hopes.”
“Obtrude” (v.) means to push out, to thrust forward or upon a person or to unduly intrude on a person.
“The self-centred loudmouth would intrude on others and cause them great embarrassment.”
“Obtrusion” is the noun form.
“Obtrusive” is the adjective form.
“Obtrusively” is the adverb form.
“”Her obtrusive costume and behaviour offended the sedate, older women in the crowd.”
“Modicum” (n.) refers to a small or token amount, a small indefinite quantity.
“If you exerted a modicum of common sense you would know not to try to walk on ice that has only been frozen for a day.”