Here are the corrections and explanations for the past week’s entries.
Find and correct the errors in the examples below. Give reasons to support your corrections.
“The tried to driver swerve back onto the road, which caused his car to flip twice and land in the ditch, the police said.”
It is time to read what one writes before publishing it. This is just carelessness.
“The driver tried to swerve back onto the road, which caused his car to flip twice and land in the ditch, the police said.”
“ ‘And as well as for (Optimus) – for what he went through.’ ”
This has no verb and is not a sentence.
The whole thing should be directly attached to its predecessor.
Putting brackets around “Optimus” makes no sense, nor does the dash.
“ ‘And as well, there should be justice for Optimus, for what he went through.’
“Two things were learned from the Skate Canada competition held on the weekend at the WFCU Centre:
In all figure-skating disciplines, Canada appears well positioned to earn a place on the map.
As does Windsor.”
What was the second thing learned? It was never put down, unless “,,,as does Windsor…” was supposed to be it. In that case, the punctuation is very wrong.
All of this should be in one paragraph because of the use of the colon.
“Two things were learned from the Skate Canada competition held on the weekend at the WFCU Centre: in all figure-skating disciplines, Canada appears well positioned to earn a place on the map; as well, Windsor will earn some recognition.”
“As well as the knowledge to recognize that while the Tigers are down, until they lose the fourth one, they are not out.”
“As well as” what? This makes no sense because the comparison is absent.
“As well, it gives us the knowledge to recognize that while the Tigers are down, until they lose the fourth one, they are not out.”
“That they are the best team in baseball.”
“That” is misused; it is a subordinate conjunction that creates a dependent clause that cannot stand by itself.
“We know that they are the best team in baseball.”
Find, identify and correct the very common error in the following example.
“Transportation of the materials began on Monday. The beams are so long that each of them require a special truck rig and an OPP escort for moving.”
“Each” is singular and requires a singular verb.
“Transportation of the materials began on Monday. The beams are so long that each of them requires a special truck rig and an OPP escort for moving.”
THIS HERE/THAT THERE
“This here” and “that there” immediately before a noun are nonstandard and not acceptable.
“This here dog is mine,” or “that there cat,” are incorrect.
“This dog,” and “that cat,” are correct.
“This dog, here, is the one I want.” This is correct.
“That cat, there, is really beautiful.” This is also correct.
“Décor” is a noun referring to the layout and furnishings of a livable interior. It is a type of decoration.
“The décor of the room is beautiful art deco and suits the entire house.”
“Decorum” is a noun referring to the propriety of speech, dress and behaviour. It refers to that which is proper and seemly.
“He acted with the utmost decorum when he went to the funeral home to pay his respects dressed in a suit and tie.”
“Decorous” is an adjective meaning characterized by proper conduct, manners, appearance and behaviour.
“The Queen is decorous and dignified in all aspects of her treatment of people, especially when she is in the public eye.”
“Decoration” is a noun referring to an ornament, accessory or something used to beautify. It also refers to a medal or ribbon that is awarded or worn for beautification.
“A simple strand of pearls is a wonderful decoration that speaks volumes about its wearer.”
“Stationary” is an adjective meaning standing still, inactive or motionless.
“Once I cement in that post, it will be stationary and a crane will be needed to pull it out.”
“Stationery” is a noun referring to notepaper, letter paper or any sort of writing pages.
“There are thousands of stationery design that can be used by scrap bookers to make cards.”
RULE OF THE WEEK
“In fact, it’s perfectly natural to put a preposition at the end of an English sentence, and it has been since Anglo-Saxon times.”
Patricia T. O’Conner, “Origins of the Specious”
A SEASONAL THOUGHT
“Virtue is choked with foul ambition.”
William Shakespeare, the greatest English dramatist and poet who lived from 1564 to 1616, wrote this in his play, Henry VI, Part II.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Corroborate” (v.) means to establish the truth of something by validation, to give evidence for, to affirm or to confirm.
“This witness’s testimony will corroborate that of the two police officers.”
“Cabal” (n.) refers to a clique that seeks power, usually through intrigue, a faction or a group.
“Caballed” and “caballing” are verb forms.
“The cabal of oil companies conspired to fix the price of oil to gain more profit for themselves.”
“Suasion” (n.) refers to the art of persuading or attempting to persuade or communicate.
“The art of suasion or moving crowds emotionally was one of the major characteristics of Martin Luther King.”
“Dilatory” (adj.) means unpunctual, behindhand, late or wasting time.
The boys dilatory attitude caused him to miss more than one appointment and many job prospects.”
“Sequester” (v.) means to keep away from others, to take by legal authority, to seclude or to withdraw.
“Sequestration” is the noun form.
“Sequestrate” is another verb form.
“Many a homeowner will foolishly sequester valuables somewhere in a master bedroom, the most obvious place for thieves to start searching.”
There will be no posts next week.
Those of you who need a grammar fix are invited to visit the archives which contain every entry ever entered in Michael’s English Usage.
The next posting will be on Monday, November 12, 2012.