Here are the corrections and explanations for this week’s entries.
MONDAY PUN DAY
“No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.”
“Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.”
WHAT ERRORS CAN BE FOUND?
Find, identify and correct the errors in the following pieces.
“Lu and his wife, Kim Yen Thai, said they simply cannot afford to install insulation in their home, and he feels badly for his daughter who suffers.”
“Badly” is incorrect. Adjectives are used after sense verbs.
“Lu and his wife, Kim Yen Thai, said they simply cannot afford to install insulation in their home, and he feels bad for his daughter who suffers.”
“He took the next pitch and when Fairchild rung up strike two, Cabrera clearly muttered words under his breath, but this was only apparent from close-up television replays.”
“Rung” is a noun and is misused here.
“He took the next pitch and when Fairchild rang up strike two, Cabrera clearly muttered words under his breath, but this was only apparent from close-up television replays.”
“An NHL referee inviting Sidney Crosby to take in the rest of the night from the confines of the dressing room?”
This is not a complete thought; there is no verb. Change “inviting”.
“An NHL referee invited Sidney Crosby to take in the rest of the night from the confines of the dressing room?”
MICHAEL’S RULES OF CORRECT ENGLISH USAGE
Words ending in “-self” or “-selves” are called reflexive pronouns and always refer to another word that has already been named; they must have an antecedent.
“The mayor appointed myself to the property committee.” (INCORRECT)
“The mayor appointed me to the property committee.” (CORRECT)
“Retch” is a verb meaning to regurgitate, to barf or to be sick.
“Please cat, do not retch on my new carpet.”
“Wretch” is a noun referring to a victim, a poor devil, a debauchee or a dissolute person.
“That poor wretch has been sitting on that corner and begging for pennies for years.”
WHAT CONSTITUTES A SENTENCE?
Answer the question by examining the following examples. Give a rationale, either for or against, the examples being correct. If they are not correct, explain why and fix them.
“Some of the concerns raised by Halberstadt, who was the only councillor posing questions to administration: …” (There is an attached list of concerns in the article, which accounts for the colon after “administration.)
It is not a sentence unless the verb is changed to the correct tense.
“Some of the concerns were raised by Halberstadt, who was the only councillor posing questions to administration: …” (There is an attached list of concerns in the article, which accounts for the colon after “administration.)
“Good news for the Jamieson family, which has spent the past couple of months living in a cramped and leaky pop-up trailer in their backyard after fleeing their mould-infested South Windsor home.”
Here is another incomplete thought because there is no principal verb.
I think “which” should be changed when referring to people; this necessitates the changing of the verb “has” to “have”.
“There was good news for the Jamieson family, who have spent the past couple of months living in a cramped and leaky pop-up trailer in their backyard after fleeing their mould-infested South Windsor home.”
“Interment” is a noun referring to the ritual placing of a corpse in a grave.
“Inter” is the verb form.
“Her interment was a colossal affair attended by countless heads of state and celebrities and all were happy to see the last of her.”
“Internment” is a noun referring to confinement during wartime or to imprisonment.
“Internment during World War II was a brutal and vicious ordeal for thousands of unfortunate people.”
“We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.”
Stewart L. Udall, an American politician who was born I 1920, said this in a commencement address at Dartmouth College on June 13, 1965.
THIS WEEK’S WORDS
“Bedevil” (v.) means to annoy constantly, to frustrate, to tantalize or to torment.
“She will bedevil her mother with her whining and crying and annoying behaviour until she gets her way.”
“Debacle” (n.) refers to a sudden and violent collapse, a sound defeat, an act with disastrous consequences or a disaster.
“The storm was such a debacle as to level the entire town.”
“Sycophant” (n.) refers to a crawler, a toady, a leech or a person who tries to please in order to gain an advantage.
“Sycophantic” is the adjective form.
“Sycophancy” is the noun form.
“The manager’s assistant was considered merely a smarmy toady who thought he was important and was virtually ignored by the rest of the staff.”
“Ephemeral” (adj.) means enduring for a very short time, transient, temporary or short-lived.
“Her ephemeral attention span was so short that she was thought to be related to a moth circling a bright light.”
There will be no posts next week because I am taking a vacation.
If you are desperate for a grammar fix, there are close to 1,800 possibilities in the archives. Go for it.