I am sorry that this set of corrections is a week late. I had some major problems with an upgrade to Word Press, my publishing program, but they are now resolved.
Here are the corrections and explanations for last week’s entries.
DASHES & PARENTHESES
A dash is a long horizontal mark twice the length of a hyphen.
Dashes indicate an abrupt change of thought.
Dashes sometimes set off a clause or phrase for emphasis or dramatic effect.
To be effective, dashes, like exclamation points, should not be overused.
“I loved the dinner last night – have you ever been to Chez Roberto?”
Parentheses set off material not essential to the meaning of the text.
They are used for asides and explanations when the material is not essential or if it is made up of more than one sentence.
Parentheses may contain a complete sentence or sentences.
“He had to go through the usual process to get his bus driver’s license (police and FBI check, reference check, motor vehicle check, written exam, mechanical test, and driving test).”
“Premise” is a noun referring to a term in logic meaning something assumed, taken or given as true in making an argument or an assumption.
Premise” can also be a verb.
“The premise of life on the millions of other planets is usually based on the idea that this tiny planet of ours cannot possibly be the only one with some form of intelligent life.”
“Premises” is a noun referring to one’s abode.
“The premises” in which I live are adequate for a single person only.”
“The company has moved to new premises because the old building was too small.”
“Psyche” is the name of a beautiful princes who was loved by Cupid in ancient mythology.
“Psyche was so beautiful that she caused men to immediately fall in love with her.”
“Psychic” is a noun referring a person who is sensitive to things beyond the natural range of perception, a forecaster or a predictor.
“The psychic” predicted the end of the world would occur yesterday; she was incorrect.”
“Psych” is a verb meaning to get someone prepared or to mentally ready a person for some endeavour.
“The high-energy coach was known to be able to psych up any team to magnificent performances.”
Read the following pieces and determine what is incorrect in each example. Explain the errors and correct them.
“ ‘That was our way of making sure that parents were informed that they deserved fulsome remarks,’ said Scott Scantlebury, board spokesman.”
“Fulsome” is incorrect because it means unpleasantly and excessively ingratiating. It does not mean “fuller”.
“ ‘That was our way of making sure that parents were informed that they deserved full remarks,’ said Scott Scantlebury, board spokesman.”
“Six- and seven-year-olds, so young they still look like babies, gunned down in their classroom in a torrent of bullets. Hearses carrying their small caskets criss-crossing Newtown.”
Both groups of words are incomplete thoughts that cannot stand by themselves.
“Six- and seven-year-olds, so young they still look like babies, were gunned down in their classroom in a torrent of bullets and the hearses carrying their small caskets criss-crossed Newtown.”
“If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.”
Isaac Asimov, an American science fiction novelist who lived from 1920 to 1992, wrote this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Charlatan” (n.) refers to a deceiver, a mountebank, a crook, a cheater or deceiver.
“Many a charlatan played on the ignorance of an uneducated public and sold them fake medicines as solutions to all their problems.”
“Proprietary” (n. or adj.) means belonging to someone, ownership or control of property.
“Drug manufacturers have proprietary rights over their drugs for twenty years before they can be copied by other companies.”
“Puissance” (n.) refers to power, might, influence or force.”
“The puissance of the monarchy is largely symbolic and traditional.”
“Benignant” (adj.) means pleasant, beneficial, gracious, kind and courteous.
“Malignant” is the antonym.
“The benignant old man looked forward to the Christmas season so he could play Santa to all the children.”
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR
The next posting will be on January 7, 2013.
Thank you for being a part of Michael’s English Usage.