Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
Each of the sentences below has a common error.
Identify the error in each sentence?
Explain the errors and correct them.
“John, being a friendly computer salesman and baseball fan.”
There is no verb, so this is an incomplete thought.
“John is a friendly computer salesman and baseball fan.”
“Where did you get that at?”
“At” is redundant and dangling. “Where” conveys the sense of place.
“Where did you get that ?”
“He is as happy as them.”
“Them” is incorrect. The proof is in completing the thought of the sentence: “He is as happy as they are.”
“He is as happy as they.”
“Because we are baseball fans.”
“Because” makes this a subordinate clause, so a principal clause must be added, or the subordinate conjunction must be removed.
“We are baseball fans.”
“I had to take down the shutters painting the house yesterday.”
This is poorly worded; it makes it appear as if the shutters were painting the house. It must be reworked.
“While painting the house yesterday, I had to take down the shutters.”
“He is taller than her.”
This is the same problem as the second example above. “Her” is incorrectly used.
“He is taller than she.”
Identify and correct the error in the following piece.
“Windsor residents should be able to take part in the city’s radical initiative of neighbourhood advisory councils this fall – but the mandate and focus of those meetings is still under development.”
The singular verb “is” is incorrect because it has two words, “mandate” and “focus”, as its subjects. The verb should be plural.
“Windsor residents should be able to take part in the city’s radical initiative of neighbourhood advisory councils this fall – but the mandate and focus of those meetings are still under development.”
SOMEONE IS NOT REALLY THINKING
The following headline has two errors: one is grammatical; one is historical or, at the very least, misleading. Identify the errors and give reasons for your choices.
“ILICH ANXIOUS FOR ANOTHER TIGER TITLE”
Mr. Ilich might be ‘eager” for another title but he is probably not “anxious”. “anxious” is misused. (Grammatical error)
Mr. Ilich, as owner of the Detroit Tigers, has never won a baseball championship title ; therefore, “another” title is incorrect. (Historical error)
“ILICH EAGER FOR A TIGER TITLE”
The three examples listed below display four errors.
Find, identify and correct the errors.
“TORONTO Ontario’s premier said Wednesday he considered it a ‘very serious issue’ that thousands of cancer test results may have gone missing.”
Things do not go missing; it is an impossibility. The sentence must be reworded.
“TORONTO Ontario’s premier said Wednesday he considered it a ‘very serious issue’ that thousands of cancer test results may have disappeared.”
“Among other issues addressed in the report is the subject of parking. KPMG found that the WFCU Centre’s 1,900 parking spots fall short of the 2,500 originally planned for the facility – but the number of spaces are still within city zoning standards.”
“Number” is singular and its verb is plural. Subject and verb must agree.
The tenses are mixed up. “KPMG found that the …parking spaces fall short…”, uses past and present tense verbs and, for consistency, the sentence should use two past tense verbs.
“Among other issues addressed in the report is the subject of parking. KPMG found that the WFCU Centre’s 1,900 parking spots fell short of the 2,500 originally planned for the facility – but the number of spaces is still within city zoning standards.”
“The pilot who went missing after making a distress call was found ‘alive and in good condition’ after spending the night in Lake Huron.”
Here is another “went missing error”.
“The pilot who disappeared after making a distress call was found ‘alive and in good condition’ after spending the night in Lake Huron.”
“Like” is a preposition. It must be followed by an object to make a prepositional phrase. It can be a verb but is never used with clauses in standard English.
“She runs like a gazelle.” (“Like a gazelle” is a prepositional phrase.)
“As” is a conjunction. As a conjunction it must be followed by a clause containing a subject and a verb.
“She runs as a gazelle does.” (As a gazelle does” is a clause.)
The two words are not interchangeable.
A UNIVERSAL TRUTH
“Glory built on selfish principles is shame and guilt.”
William Cowper, an English poet who lived from 1731 to 1800, wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Gaucherie” (n.) refers to the quality of being rustic, gauche, awkward or clumsy, or it refers to a socially awkward or tactless act.
“The pretty, young woman ignored the gaucherie of the boorish boys of the town who remorselessly hooted and hollered at her whenever she went to the market.”
“Inchoate” (adj.) means only partly developed, beginning, confused or incoherent.
“Inchoate” has three syllables.
“The witness’s answers to the tough prosecutor were inchoate and confusing to the jurors.”
“Timorous” (adj.) means timid, fearful, bashful, nervous or reticent.
“Timorousness” is the noun form.
“Timorously” is the adverb form.
“The fearful howling of the wolves completely destroyed what little confidence the lost little boy had.”
“Blatant” (adj.) means without any attempt at concealment, open, offensively noisy or boisterous.
“Blatancy” is the noun form.
“Blatantly” is the adverb form.
“His blatant disregard of the noise bylaws of the city caused the neighbours to have him charged by the police.”
“Nirvana” (n.) is a Hindu and Buddhist beatitude characterised by the extinction of desire and individual consciousness, a place of bliss or delight, heaven, paradise or rapture.
“The old hippie spent his life toking and seeking, but never quite attaining, his concept of nirvana.”
ANNOUNCEMENT – VACATION TIME BECKONS
The next entry will be on August 15.
Enjoy the summer.