Here are the corrections and explanations for this week’s entries.
FYI: For those die-hard grammar nuts, last Monday was Victoria Day in Canada so there was no entry.
“Dribble” is a verb meaning to drool, to water at the mouth or to flow.
“A child, when learning to drink from a cup, will often dribble more liquid that he consumes.”
“Drivel” is a noun referring to a worthless message, inanity or senselessness.
“ ‘I think your tea-party philosophy is complete drivel,’ said the very open-minded student.”
When “drivel” is used as a verb it can mean the same as “dribble”, but “dribble” does not have the same meaning as “drivel” when used as a noun.
Find, identify and correct the error in the following piece.
“Officials said as much as 125,000 pounds of plastic was on scene, keeping the inferno fuelled despite the best effort of dozens of firefighters.”
The subject of the verb “was” is the plural noun “pounds” and that results in subject-verb disagreement which must be corrected.
“Officials said as much as 125,000 pounds of plastic were on scene, keeping the inferno fuelled despite the best effort of dozens of firefighters.”
“Compliment” is a verb meaning to congratulate, to acclaim, to hail, to express respect to someone or to say nice things about someone.
“I think your interpretation of that soliloquy is exceptional and I compliment you on your presentation.”
“Complement” is a noun referring to a complete number or quantity, something added, an accessory or a word or phrase used to complete a grammatical construction.
“Complements” supplement each other, each adding something the other lacks.
“That rug is exactly the right complement for the furnishings in the room and it makes the room an outstanding show piece.”
BONUS: Define “etymology” and relate it to the two words above to receive a GOLD STAR.
“Etymology” is the study of the history, the sources or the development of words.
The Latin word “complementum” is the root of “complement”.
The Italian “complimento” is the root of “compliment.
Chance are very good that “complimento” refers back to “complementum”.
“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
Bertrand Russell, a British author, mathematician and philosopher who lived from 1872 to 1970, wrote this.
THIS WEEK’S WORDS
“Deferential” (adj.) means respectful, regardful, submissive, frilly or humble.
A “synonym” is a word that means the same as another word, so any of the words listed above can be substituted for “deferential”.
“The young intern’s deferential attitude toward his mentor spoke volumes about his respect for his professor.”
“Aberrant” (adj.) means defiant, perverse anomalous or against or away from group thinking.
“Aberrance” is a noun form.
“Aberration” is another noun form.
“Aberrancy” is a third noun form.
“His behaviour was so aberrant and anti-social that he was thrown out of his congregation.”
“Disingenuous” (adj.) means not straightforward, not candid, hypocritical, contrived or stilted.
There are five syllables in “disingenuous”.
“The politician’s disingenuous behaviour toward his constituents once he was elected to office caused his popularity numbers to tumble dramatically.”