Here are the corrections and explanations for this week’s entries.
MICHAEL’S RULES OF CORRECT ENGLISH USAGE
“Bad” is an adjective. It describes nouns or pronouns. It is used with sense and linking verbs such “look”, “feel”, “sound”, “taste” or “to be”.
The Tiger bullpen played bad last night. (INCORRECT)
She felt badly about missing the date. (INCORRECT)
Things look badly for the Tigers. (INCORRECT)
“Badly” is an adverb; it describes verbs and should be used with all verbs other than linking verbs. It usually answers the question “How?”
“Detroit played badly Sunday night.” (CORRECT – “Badly” describes the verb “played”.)
“Both” is an adjective meaning the two, the one and the other or a multiple of two.
“Both boys will join the hockey team and will create a very potent scoring duo.”
“Each” is an adjective meaning apiece, every of two or more considered individually.
“Each of the boys has different skills and each successfully compliments the other.”
Read the sentence below and identify the possible lack of clarity in it.
“I gave both of the girls $50.”
This is confusing because we do not know if $50 was given to each girls or if they had to share one gift of $50.
“I gave each girl $50,” is much clearer.
“Disburse” is a verb meaning to pay out or to distribute.
“Disbursement” is the noun form.
“Disburser” is another noun form.
“I will disburse my money in any way I see fit and most of it will be given to the poor and needy.”
“Disperse” is a verb meaning to scatter or to drive off in various directions.
“Dispersion” is the noun form.
“Disperser” is another noun form.
“Dispersedly” is the adverb form.
“I want this crowd to disperse and to go home right now or every last one you will be arrested and charged with public mischief.”
Read the three excerpts and find the errors in them. Identify, explain and correct them.
“Because this throne speech attempts something most governments don’t seem to try anymore: pleasing the people who mostly don’t care about politics.”
This is an incomplete thought because the word “because” is a subordinate conjunction and what follows has no principal clause. “Remove “because” and it becomes a complete thought.
“This throne speech attempts something most governments don’t seem to try anymore: pleasing the people who mostly don’t care about politics.”
“No brainers, all five pledges.”
Where is the verb?
“All five pledges were no brainers.”
“When you’re no longer forced to sign up for 10 stations you can’t stand just to get the two you can?
Is this a question? Is it a statement? It makes no sense.
“This will occur when you’re no longer forced to sign up for 10 stations you can’t stand just to get the two you want.
ANOTHER GRAMMAR VOICE – HOORAH!
Read, and enjoy, this comment from a Postmedia News entertainment commentator. Finally, somebody is paying attention to grammar. Awareness is part of the battle.
“I don’t know much about Sufjan Stevens. It says here that he’s an ‘indie rocker’ and who can say what that means? But suddenly I’m a big fan, because of his cranky letter to Miley Cyrus.
Refreshingly, Stevens doesn’t care about nudity or twerking or her trailer-trash vibe. He’s upset about grammar, especially a line in her song Get It Right: ‘I been laying in this bed all night long.’ On his website, Stevens says ‘Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. ‘I been laying my tired booty on this bed’ … ‘Did you know the tense here is also totally wrong? Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long)’ etc. This guy’s my new hero.”
Doug Camilli, Postmedia News, “Cranky grammar lesson for Miley”, The Windsor Star, Thursday, October 17, 2013.
DESTINY REQUIRES EFFORT
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
William Jennings Bryan, an American lawyer, orator and politician who lived from 1860 to 1925, wrote this.
THIS WEEK’S WORDS
“Misconstrue” (v.) means to confound, confuse, misinterpret or misunderstand.
“Fear of teens will often cause older people to misconstrue the energy of teens for disrespect and evil intentions.”
“Indolence” (n.) refers to laziness, lethargy or lack of activity.
“Please do not accuse me of indolence just because I am resting and do not feel up to doing such a rigourous exercise routine.”
“Rancour” (n.) refers to bitterness, deep anger, ill-will or enmity.
“The rancour and divisiveness of the politicians in the United States have certainly proven that power can be corrosive and destructive.”