Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
Identify the English usage problem in the following entry and explain why it is a problem. Correct it.
“Pointing fingers at unions on this issue is especially galling. After all, skilled trades training fell out of favour in recent decades with many employees and education officials, who were perhaps biased against the ‘blue collar’ nature of the work.”
“Bias” means toward or for and “prejudice” means against. The two should not be interchanged. This is a debatable one, but I, nevertheless, present it.
“Pointing fingers at unions on this issue is especially galling. After all, skilled trades training fell out of favour in recent decades with many employees and education officials, who were perhaps prejudiced against the ‘blue collar’ nature of the work.”
Identify and correct the errors in the following pieces.
“ ‘All communities experience outages based on weather,’ Dunn said. ‘Amherstburg has had a significant amount of outages.’ ”
“Amount” cannot be used for things that can be counted.
“ ‘All communities experience outages based on weather,’ Dunn said. ‘Amherstburg has had a significant number of outages.’ ”
“Because under the NDP, as we learned with Bob Rae, spending and taxing would reach suicidal levels.”
This is not a complete thought; it begins with the subordinate conjunction “because” and there is no principal clause. It must be reworded.
“Under the NDP and Bob Rae, we learned spending and taxing would reach suicidal levels.”
“Conflicted” is the past participle of the verb “to conflict”.
“Conflicted feelings” is jargon and in not accepted in formal writing. It is better to use the word “ambivalent”.
“My conflicted feelings about her are driving me to distraction.” (Not acceptable)
“I have ambivalent feelings about her and I do not know what to do.”
“The two colours conflicted and caused the designer to go into a rage.”
Identify and correct the errors in the following piece. (Note the plural word, “errors”.)
“The government of Canada – that is, you and me – forgo between $300 million and $400 million taxes on that money, making it a national expense.”
“You and me” should be “you and I”. (1)
Capitalization should be used for “government of Canada” because it is a proper noun. (2)
“Forgo” should be “forgoes” because it is the verb of the singular “Government of Canada”. (3)
The word “in” should probably be inserted before “taxes”. (4)
“The Government of Canada – that is, you and I – forgoes between $300 million and $400 million in taxes on that money, making it a national expense.”
Identify and correct the errors in the following piece.
“At least, possibly a crippled version of it.”
This is an incomplete thought because there is no verb.
“At least, it was possibly a crippled version of it.”
I suggest there are three errors in the following piece. Identify them and correct them. Feel free to challenge my charge; I will gladly apologize, if I am wrong.
“Locally, the campaign was also marked by the absence of PC candidates Todd Branch, Robert de Vertueil and Brister from debates, ostensibly because they had prior commitments or felt the debate forum would be biased against their candidacy.”
Why are two candidates cited using both first and last names and one is not? It should be consistent.
Note the misuse of “bias”.
Did three men have only one “candidacy” among them?
“Locally, the campaign was also marked by the absence of PC candidates Todd Branch, Robert de Vertueil and David Brister from debates, ostensibly because they had prior commitments or felt the debate forum would be prejudiced against their candidacies.”
WORTH KEEPING IN MIND
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian political and spiritual leader who lived from 1869 to 1948, wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Nominative” (n.) refers to the category of nouns that serve as the grammatical subjects of verbs.
“Nominative” (adj.) means named, bearing the name of a specific person or appointed by nomination.
“In this sentence the word ‘word’ is in the nominative case because it is the subject of the verb ‘is’, and the word ‘nominative’, which modifies ‘case’, is an adjective.”
“Incantatory” (adj.) means enchanting, spell-binding or bewitching.
“Incantation” is the noun form meaning the chanting or uttering of words purporting to have magical power.
“Incant” is the verb form.
“The incantatory droning of the monks at prayer was mesmerizing and infectious.”
“Besmirch” (v.) means to charge falsely, to defame, to slander or to smear.
“If you besmirch my good name in public, I will sue you for every penny you are worth.”
“Hypocritical” (adj.) means insincere, counterfeit, faithless, deceitful or falsely good. The narrowness of definition is that it describes behaviour or speech that is intended to make one look better or more pious than one really is.
“Hypocrite” is the noun form of one who falsely good.
“Hypocrisy” is the noun form.
“It is hypocritical for people to carouse on Saturday night and then show up at church on Sunday morning acting as if they were the soul of virtue.”
“Imprudent” (adj.) means indiscreet, inadvisable, rash, talkative or unwise.
“It would be imprudent to lie in the hot summer sun for any period of time without using liberal amounts of sun screen lotion.”