Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
“Real” is an adjective meaning existent, accurate, fixed or authentic.
When used as an adjective, “real” can only modify a noun.
“She has a voice that is the real thing and needs no gimmicks to make it seem any better.”
“Really” is an adverb meaning exactly, quite or truly.
“I really like to listen to Italian opera because of its beautiful melodies.”
Since “really” is an adverb, it can modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb.
“She is real good.” INCORRECT – “real” is describing the adjective “good” and only an adverb can modify another adverb.
“Hoard” is a verb meaning to stash away, to squirrel away, to greedily cling to some possessions or to accumulate.
“Hoard” is also a noun meaning the same.
“The miser will hoard his every penny for himself and will do little to help the needy.”
“Horde” is a noun referring to a group of people, a vast multitude or a swarm of beings.
“The horde of bees angrily swarmed upon the intruding and unsuspecting honey thief.”
“Douse” is a verb meaning to immerse in liquid, to extinguish or to put out.
“Sometimes it is nearly impossible to douse flames with only water and chemicals must be employed.”
“Dowse” is a verb meaning to search for water or subterranean supplies of ore with the aid of a divining stick.
“Many old prospectors would fervently believe they could dowse successfully for water in the dry deserts.”
What is a pronoun?
A pronoun is a word that can be used to substitute for a noun’
What is an indefinite pronoun?
An indefinite pronoun is a word that stands for no particular person or thing.
“Each of the members have one vote.” (INCORRECT)
“Each”is the singular indefinite pronoun.
The verb must be singular to match its subject.
“Each of the members has one vote.”
“One of the girls gave up their seat.” (INCORRECT)
“Their” is the indefinite pronoun.
“Their” must be singular because it refers to the singular “one”.
“One of the girls gave up her seat.”
“A few of the justices were voicing their opposition.” (CORRECT)
“Few” is the plural indefinite pronoun.
The sentence is correct because the subject and verb agree.
“A few of the justices were voicing their opposition.”
“Is everyone happy with their gift?” (INCORRECT)
“Everyone” is a singular, indefinite pronoun.
The sentence is incorrect because the plural “their” refers to the singular “everyone”.
The generic “he” should be used when no sex is indicated.
“Is everyone happy with his gift?”
“All of the people clapped their hands.” (CORRECT)
“All” is the indefinite pronoun.
The sentence is correct because the subject and verb agree.
“All of the people clapped their hands.”
Find and correct the errors in the following pieces. Give reasons to support your choices.
“Together the Maroon group of companies have been waging a multi-year, multimillion dollar advertising campaign to block construction of a competing bridge in the courts.”
The plural verb “have been waging” does not agree with the singular subject “group”.
“Together the Maroon group of companies has been waging a multi-year, multimillion dollar advertising campaign to block construction of a competing bridge in the courts.”
“But the legislation tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday would effectively give carte blanche on the Canadian side to whomever is chosen to build the new bridge.”
“Whomever” is incorrect because it is objective and being used in a subjective place.
“But the legislation tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday would effectively give carte blanche on the Canadian side to whoever is chosen to build the new bridge.”
“A mission the Tigers couldn’t complete in 2006 when they lost in five games to St. Louis.”
“Mission” is singular. “They” is plural and refers, to the singular “mission”; it must be changed.
“A mission the Tigers couldn’t complete in 2006 when it lost in five games to St. Louis.”
“Like the controversial Bill C-38 introduced last year, ‘part two’ of Canada’s latest budget legislation is an omnibus bill encompassing a number of wide ranging new laws, from MPs pensions to the new bridge.”
MP should be made possessive or not have an “s”.
The comma after laws should be eliminated.
“Like the controversial Bill C-38 introduced last year, ‘part two’ of Canada’s latest budget legislation is an omnibus bill encompassing a number of wide ranging new laws from MP pensions to the new bridge.”
RULE OF THE WEEK
It is not incorrect to split an infinitive.
The rule was created two centuries ago by wordsmiths who wanted to make English resemble Latin and that is not quite possible given the heavy influence of German in the development of the language.
So go ahead; you are allowed to occasionally split your infinitives, especially if you find it necessary to clearly explain your concept.
AN ASTUTE OBSERVATION
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
Edgar Allan Poe, the American poet and father of the gothic short story who lived from 1809 to 1849, wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Disputatious” (adj.) means argumentative, contentious, litigious or controversial.
“Dispute” is the verb form.
“Disputation” is the noun form.
“Disputant” is another noun form.
“Disputatiously” is the adverb form.
“His disputatious and constantly challenging attitude caused his friends to shy away from him in social situations.”
“Haughty” (adj.) means disdainful, lordly, supercilious, arrogant or self-important.
“Haughtily” is the adverb form.
Haughtiness “ is the noun form.
“The actress was so haughty and overbearing her peers refused to go on stage with her.”
“Augment” (v.) means to fortify, to strengthen, to beef up or to intensify.
“Augmentation” is the noun form.
“Augmentable” is the adjective form.
“Augumentative” is another adjective form.
“The old man would try to augment his meager income by doing odd jobs for his neighbours.”
“Cataclysm” (n.) refers to a sudden, violent change in the earth’s surface, catastrophe, calamity or disaster.
“Many movies have been made about the heroism of many during the cataclysm and utter chaos of earthquakes.”
“Machinate” (v.) means to contrive, to devise artfully with evil intent, to engage in plots or to scheme.
“The ambitious young senator would machinate heartlessly against his older peers to make them look incompetent and to further his own ego-centred career.”