Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
“Classic”, an adjective, describes things that are outstanding examples of their kind such as a classic car, of the highest quality or outstanding in its kind.
“Classic”, the noun, refers to things of the highest excellence.
The ‘65 Mustang is a classic car that is sought by collectors and is often imitated.”
“Classical”, an adjective, usually describes things from ancient periods such as Rome or Greece and can mean authoritative, definitive or accepted as in the accepted way of doing things.
“Classical mythological forms the basis of many, many beliefs in modern society.”
TWO FOR ONE
There are two errors in the following piece.
Identify and correct the errors and explain why they are errors.
“ ‘It feels good anytime you can score and help out, but being 4-0 is more important,’ said White, an ex-Leafs.”
It is mere carelessness to write “ex-Leafs” when “ex-Leaf” is intended.
Is being 4-0 more important than “helping out” or more important than “scoring”?
“ ‘It feels good anytime you can score and help out, but being 4-0 is more important than scoring,’ said White, an ex-Leaf.”
There are two errors in the following piece and they do not resemble the errors in the first example above.
“I could understand if Occupy Windsor were protesting Ontario’s disastrously rising debt. After all, every one of us will spend the rest of their lives paying it off – and the younger you are, the more you will pay.”
The problem here is the use of three persons, first, second and third, in the same thought. Writing consistency demands at least one person, the second, be eliminated.
The second problem is making “their”, which is plural, refer back to “one”, which is singular. This has to be made consistent.
“I could understand if Occupy Windsor were protesting Ontario’s disastrously rising debt. After all, all of us will spend the rest of our lives paying it off – and the younger we are, the more we will pay.”
“Prodigy”, a noun, refers to a brilliantly outstanding person, usually a child.
“Van Cliburn was a piano prodigy who was brilliant, particularly in performing the works of Bach.”
“Progeny”, a noun, refers to one’s offspring or children.
“Always be proud of your progeny for, with guidance, they will surpass your expectations.”
“Protégé”, a noun, refers to a person that one might take under one’s wing in order to help promote his or her career.
“Plato was a brilliant philosopher who was the protégé of Socrates.”
USAGE – KIND/KINDS
It should not be difficult to define the word “kind”. The plural of “kind” is “kinds” when referring to type or types or categories of things.
The problem is using a plural modifier with a singular word. If there is a plural modifier, the word it modifies must be plural.
Here are some examples.
“This kind of response is not acceptable.” (Correct)
“We refuse to buy these kind of books.” (Incorrect. The plural “these” is made to modify a singular noun.)
“We refuse to buy these kinds of books.”
“I’ve given up these kinds of ideas.” (Correct)
“I like your kind of thinking.”
“”These kinds of problems always crop up in voting season.”
Traditional grammar holds that personal pronouns following “than” should be in the subjective rather than the objective case.
“He is smaller than she (is)”, is the correct form though, “He is smaller than her,” has become acceptable, but personally, I reject that as impure.
“Than”, in this context, always implies comparison and is similar in use to a simile. The difference is that a simile must use the words “like” or “as “ to be considered a simile, whereas “than” does not have that restriction.
“Than” is a preposition used in expressions to indicate one thing happening immediately after another or to introduce the second element in a comparison.
“He claims not to own anything other than his car.”
“She was much smaller than her daughter.”
“Than” is a conjunction.
“They observe rather than act.”
“Scarcely was the work completed than it was abandoned.”
“What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give.”
P. D. James (Phyllis Dorothy James), a crime novel writer born in 1920 and known as Baroness James, penned this in one of her novels.
FIRST BLOG ENTRY – April 6, 2007
LET US RAISE OUR SIGHTS
by Michael Lyons on Friday, April 6, 2007
The site is dedicated to eradicating writing errors and to exploring new words which could be added to your lexicon.
MISTAKE OF THE DAY
“I should have went to the store yesterday but I was too lazy.”
“Went” cannot have an auxiliary verb. “Gone” must be used.
“I should have gone to the store yesterday but I was too lazy.”
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Hegemony” (n.) refers to a type of government, leadership or dominance in which one state dominates all the others.
“The Second World War was a perfect example of the hegemony of Germany over all the European countries.”
“Cantankerous” (adj.) means stubbornly obstructive, unwilling to cooperate, contrary or difficult.
“The cantankerous old councilman created tremendous backlogs of city business with his constant challenging of every little item in each new piece of business presented.”
“Symbiotic” (adj.) is taken from the biological term “symbiosis” referring to the close relationship of two different organisms living in close physical association often to the benefit of both and advantageous to each other.
“Detroit and Windsor have huge symbiotic auto and sports relationships and depend on each other on a daily basis.”
“Nebbish” (n.) refers to a person, especially a man, who is regarded as pitifully ineffectual, timid, or submissive.
“The new teacher was such a prissy old nebbish that he was released after mere weeks of starting his assignment.”
“Desultory” (adj.) means unplanned, aimless, directionless, half-hearted or unenthusiastic.
“The desultory, young woman was so despondent she became an easy target for taunts and abuse by the local, cruel bullies.”
“Dowdy” (adj.) means lacking in smartness or taste, out of date or frumpish.
“She had no desire to be fashionable and dressed in any dowdy rags she could find.”