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Chapter One Think! Though this rule is general rather than specific, discussion of it gives us the chance to take a sort of overview of our subject. No time? In any case, spend some time with the following examples.
In each sentence, simply omitting "people" would have taken proper care of things. The late evening news once declared that a certain luckless convict had been "electrocuted to death. And what about rate of speed? Merely say "while traveling at high speed. He also suggests, in his own special style, that you remember what you once knew but have allowed to slip away.
A TV reporter informed us one evening that in "the country was in the grips of the Great Depression. As is often the case, she seemed to be employing a word without really thinking about its meaning-it was just a word.
Sober narrators of historical programs dealing with that same era often tell us that something took place "at the height of the Depression. It would purge us" Washington Post. As my grouchy friend responded, rather in the style of Samuel Johnson, "Americans may well offer profound thanks that we were not simultaneously hit by an emetic and a purge-both ends, so to speak, against the middle.
The poor body politic might not have survived such a double assault. In a profile of the British writer-politician Jeffrey Archer, the New Yorker observed that as a young MP, Archer "seemed to have a promising future ahead of him. A third member of this group is a photo caption bearing the information that FDR was "rarely seen in a wheelchair during his lifetime.
A curious phrasing often occurs in relation to death. The writer will assert something like "Before her death she wrote her re. A writer usually means in such a context "in the last year before her death," "shortly before her death," or something similar. The word favorable carries the idea of success, of moving toward a desired result. The arrangement of words in a sentence requires thought, too.
Note this example from the Tampa Tribune: "Shortly after p. He conceded, however, that this point probably had not been of much concern to the saddened and infuriated women. In a discussion of out-of-office U. Three quadrants? A quadrant is a fourth, not a third. How could he have done such a thing?
White really say that? Louis] just across the Mississippi River from St. The craftsmanly writer, he would say, prefers predominantly, which pairs with the adjective predominant; predominately he considers a slovenly impostor, since it has no counterpart adjective but is merely -ly hooked to the verb.
He sees it as a second-class word. My friend also detests such scramblings as the substitution of the adverb somewhat for the noun something, as in: "I have long been acknowledged as somewhat of an expert on sleep" Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
You may be somewhat sleepy, but you can hardly be somewhat OF an anything. The Los Angeles Times committed the same blunder in informing us that "polo shirts have become somewhat of an American uniform," and the newspaper supplement American Profile joined in by describing the development of the proposed World War II memorial as "somewhat of a bureaucratic quagmire at times.
Cabinet secretaries. I have a tattoo of Elliot Richardson on my buttocks" Tony Kornheiser, a columnist. Somewhat sloppy, all those items! Metaphors and other figures of speech often do not receive the respect they deserve. This is nonsense. The real expression is walking on eggs. The idea is to tread so softly that you avoid turning those fragile eggs into nothing more than useless eggshells. Regrettably, an office supervisor in Texas showed no likelihood of making such an effort.
Just be kind to metaphors, the grouch likes to say, and they will repay you richly. A radio news report described a certain government project as an overwhelming failure. But overwhelm means to turn over, to overcome by superior power. Old strong "irregular" verbs continually cause trouble. Speaking of President George W. Bringing us up to date on the Dubai Open, a reporter told us that Martina Hingis "overcame some bad moments in the first set, then recovered to beat No.
But, of course, these two words are on the same side of the fence, with the overcoming creating the recovery. It would have been better, probably, to say that Hingis overcame some bad moments to take the first set and went on to drub Tanasugarn in the second she won it An NPR report on a horrible accident in Nova Scotia included the sentence: "Four schoolchildren were killed when a bus lost control.
The bus, after all, was inanimate. My friend seems almost to have chuckled, however, over a surprising statement in an advertisement bearing the byline of the president of the National Education Association. One recipient of the mailer noted, "Somebody has a big mama. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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The Grouchy Grammarian
He illustrates dreadful things that people do with apostrophes, problems with subject and verb agreement, the misuse of former, the incorrect use of whom, dangling participles, malapropisms, and more. As his subtitle makes clear, his examples are mostly taken from the media, which I feel sometimes shines the spotlight too brightly on errors made by broadcasters and journalists. Theirs is a stressful occupation with constantly looming deadlines in which it is all too easy to make a slip that cannot be recalled and corrected. Mr Parrish would, I suspect, argue that a more thorough knowledge of the basics would prevent the most egregious errors.
The grouchy grammarian
Chapter One Think! Though this rule is general rather than specific, discussion of it gives us the chance to take a sort of overview of our subject. No time? In any case, spend some time with the following examples. In each sentence, simply omitting "people" would have taken proper care of things. The late evening news once declared that a certain luckless convict had been "electrocuted to death. And what about rate of speed?
I read a trilogy and a horror anthology, finished one serial on Serial Box, started the final season of another and began a third, read the newest in a mystery series I love, and had enough real life to keep things interesting. The first book in that trilogy is Crazy Rich Asians. Here the plot shifts from Rachel and Nick to his cousin and her husband, and to the stories of other of the secondary characters. By now, they all felt like old acquaintances, and it was wonderful to catch up on their stories. The focus is heavily on Nick and his grandmother in this one.