Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s blog entries.
In forming adjectives we can identify them as positive, comparative or superlative in degree.
“Positive” means the standard form of an adjective.
“Comparative” means to compare or to show a stronger relationship.
“Superlative” refers to the strongest form of an adjective.
Here are the positive, comparative and superlative forms of each of the listed words. Note that some words must use “more” and “most”.
bad, worse, worst
little, less, least
plentiful, more plentiful, most plentiful
lazy, lazier, laziest
fore, former, foremost
late, later, latest
patient, more patient, most patient
simple, simpler, simplest
much, more, most
majestic, more majestic, most majestic.
“Who”, whose” and “whom” are conjunctive, relative pronouns.
“Conjunctive” means joining things of equal value.
The word are not interchangeable.
“Who” is a subjective, relative pronoun.
“He is the one who is accused of the crime.”
“Whom” is an objective, relative pronoun.
“The people with whom I lived were very kind.”
“Whose” is a possessive, relative pronoun.
“Those are the boys whose clothes were stolen.”
“Emergent” means “emerging” and normally refers to events that are just beginning or barely noticeable or just coming into being rather than catastrophic.
“The emergent democracies of the mid-east are often very tenuous and weak.”
“Emergency” is a noun or an adjective referring to a crisis or something unexpected which often is life-threatening or dangerous.
“The train accident was a huge emergency that taxed the resources of all response teams.”
There should be no attempt to use the words interchangeably.
CORRECT USE OF VERBS – Part 1
“Transitive” refers, in grammar, to a verb requiring an object to complete the meaning of the verb. The object always answers the questions “what” or “whom” after the verb.
“He saddled the horse.”
“Intransitive” refers, in grammar, to a verb that cannot take an object or requires no object.
“The storm raged throughout the night.’
“Lie” means to recline or be placed. It is intransitive.
“I intend to lie down for two hours and do not want to be disturbed.”
“Lay” means to place something down. It is transitive.
“Gently lay the book on the table, please.”
Identify and correct the errors in the following pieces. Cite reasons to support your choices.
“We don’t know if it was somebody hacking in, all we know it was five employers and that’s all the government’s been saying.”
This is a perfect example of a comma splice which is putting a comma where a full stop is needed. The punctuation must be altered because a comma is only a pause.
“We don’t know if it was somebody hacking in; all we know it was five employers and that’s all the government’s been saying.”
or CORRECTION 2
“We don’t know if it was somebody hacking in. All we know it was five employers and that’s all the government’s been saying.”
or CORRECTION 3
“We don’t know if it was somebody hacking in and all we know it was five employers and that’s all the government’s been saying.”
“Instead, the cavalier firing was shocking. An impromptu meeting called as councillors packed up to go home. No documentation, the mayor reading emails from his Blackberry, the vice-chairman of the audit committee on speaker phone.”
The second group of words is not a complete thought because the verb is incorrect.
The third group of words has no verb at all and it is rife with comma splices.
“Instead, the cavalier firing was shocking. An impromptu meeting was called as councillors packed up to go home. There was no documentation; the mayor was reading emails from his Blackberry; and the vice-chairman of the audit committee was on speaker phone.”
DEFINITELY WORTH CONTEMPLATING
“Many men can make a fortune but very few can build a family.”
J. S. Bryan wrote this piece.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Herculean” (adj.) means of extreme difficulty, demanding or very challenging.
“The task of moulding children into responsible adults is almost herculean in the amount of effort needed by parents and families.”
“Circuitous” (adj.) means a roundabout route, not the most direct way or indirect.
“Some cabbies will take a circuitous route to build up their fares.”
“Pragmatic” (adj.) means facing reality squarely, down-to-earth, sensible and not fanciful.
“Many scientists are completely pragmatic and have no time for the arts which they consider a waste of time.”
“Arcane” (adj.) means dark, enigmatic, secretive or puzzling.
“Dracula has always been an arcane concept that many film makers have enjoyed trying to unravel.”
“Patriarchal” (adj.) means father-like or controlled by men.
“Most mid-east nations are patriarchal and allow few decisions to be made by women.
“Patriarch” is the noun form.
“My father, the patriarch of our family is wise and forgiving.”