Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
“Espouse” is a verb meaning to marry, to adopt or to follow.
“I espouse the philosophy of fatalism because it suits my realistic way of thinking.”
“Expound” is a verb meaning to explain, to enlarge upon, to elaborate upon or to speak at length about.
“The professor would expound at length upon the various philosophers’ ways of thinking so his classes would have a complete understanding of each”
“Expand” is a verb meaning to speak at further length about or to spread out.
“If you listen to all arguments you will expand your ability to make informed choices.”
Correct the errors and explain the applicable rules.
NOTA BENE: Look very closely at this entire unit; if you do not, you will not be able to achieve a perfect score of 10.
Here are a series of sentences each of which may contain an error. (1)
“Series” is the governing, singular, collective noun, so it needs a singular verb.
Here is a series of sentences each of which may contain an error. (I bet you missed this one.)
The climate in both places are mild. (2)
A phrase or clause often separates the subject and the verb. The verb must still agree with the subject which, in this case is singular.
The climate in both places is mild.
A group of senators were calling for an investigation. (3)
The subject “group” is a collective, singular pronoun.
A group of senators was calling for an investigation.
One of the many galaxies were proven to be near a black hole. (4)
The subject “one” is singular so the verb must be singular.
One of the many galaxies was proven to be near a black hole.
Neither John nor Mary know what happened. (5)
Two or more singular subjects joined by “or” or “nor” take a singular verb.
Neither John nor Mary knows what happened.
Joe and his brother knows what happened. (6)
A compound subject whose parts are joined by “and” normally takes a plural verb.
Joe and his brother know what happened.
Neither Mary nor her brothers know what happened.
This one is correct. If you identified it as such, give yourself an extra mark.
If one or more singular subjects is joined to one or more plural subject by “or” or “nor”, the verb agrees with the subject closest to the verb.
Neither Mary nor her brothers know what happened.
One and one equal two. (7)
A compound subject whose parts are joined by “and” takes a singular verb.
One and one equals two.
Every boy and girl have to participate. (8)
A compound subject whose parts are joined by “and” takes a singular verb when the compound subject is modified by the words “each” or “every”.
Every boy and girl has to participate.
GOLD STAR SPECIAL # 1: Where should the accent be placed in the word “applicable”?
The accent in “applicable” is on the second syllable. (9)
GOLD STAR SPECIAL # 2: Define, precisely, “nota bene”.
“Nota bene” is a Latin phrase meaning “note well”. (10)
If you identified all correctly you would receive 11/10 marks. Bravo!
Correct the mistakes in the example below. (There are two.)
“ ‘Given the background it was a very unique case,’ Dube said.”
“Unique” means one of a kind. Therefore, comparatives, superlatives and words like “very”, “so” or “extremely” cannot not be used to modify it. If it is one of a kind, it cannot be compared!
There should be a comma after “background”.
“ ‘Given the background, it was a unique case,’ Dube said.”
Identify, explain and correct the error in the following piece.
“ ‘Nobody (within the ruling bodies) wants children to know nothing else but sticking putters in their bellies,’ a source close to the R & A discussion told Golfweek.”
“Nobody” and “nothing” in the same sentence create a double negative which should not be used.
“ ‘Nobody (within the ruling bodies) wants children to know anything else but sticking putters in their bellies,’ a source close to the R & A discussion told Golfweek.”
“Brunt” is a noun meaning referring to the main force of a blow. It is taken from an old word meaning a sharp blow or attack. A person is never a brunt.
“Butt” is a noun meaning a victim of ridicule or a prank, a goat or a laughing stock. It is taken from an old meaning of the word meaning a target for shooting at.
“A person being attacked is the butt of a joke and he must endure the brunt of the scorn.”
“Truth persuades by teaching, but does not teach by persuading.”
Quintus Septimius Tertullianus, a Carthaginian church father who lived from 160 to 230 AD, wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Scotch” (v.) means to prevent the success of something, to frustrate or to foil.
“Good teachers scotch all attempts by students to be disrespectful.”
“Inveigh” (v.) means to complain bitterly or to rail against, to pick apart or criticize.
“The old harridan would inveigh against any noise the neighbourhood children made.”
“Scourge” (v.) means to punish severely, to trounce or to flagellate.
“The slave masters scourge their minions with whips and bats until they submit.”
“Scourge” (n.) means a whip to inflict punishment, a blight or a curse.
The scourge of plague wiped out half the population of europe in the middle ages.”
“Semiliterate” (adj.) means barely able to read or write or poorly informed.
“The semiliterate young man he was given little education because of the need for him to work so hard in the fields.”
“Pretext” (n.) means a cover, a feint, a guise or a reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason.
“The interrogator used the pretext of being a sympathetic friend to try to get the suspect to confess.”