Sunday, November 11, 2007

CORRECTIONS & EXPLANATIONS - November 11, 2007

Monday

HOW SHARP ARE YOU?

"The gang of boys are abusing the rest of the children that are in the playground."
“Gang” is the subject of the sentence; it is singular and needs a singular verb.
“Children” are people, so a personal pronoun, “who” is needed in referring to them.

"The gang of boys is abusing the rest of the children who are in the playground."

"Tom, Harold and myself are going to go skating this afternoon."
“Myself" is a reflexive pronoun and cannot be used as the subject of a sentence.
"Tom, Harold and I are going to go skating this afternoon."

"Mary was recently named as the new Director of Personal."
“Personal” refers to a particular person or to his private affairs.
“Personnel” refers to a group of people and must be used.

"Mary was recently named as the new Director of Personnel."

"The premiere of the film occurred last night."
This is a correct sentence.

Tuesday

"Surprisingly, the staffing levels at these similar-sized municipalities varies greatly, with some having twice as many staff as others."
“Levels” is plural and as subject of the sentence it demands a plural verb.
"Surprisingly, the staffing levels at these similar-sized municipalities vary greatly, with some having twice as many staff as others."


"Under cross-examination by hospital lawyer Patrick Ducharme, Rose said Hotel Dieu managers had been "very reponsive" to Dupont. For example, they offered her a more secure parking spot."
The punctuation is incorrect. There must be a semi-colon after “Dupont” and “for example” is not capitalized. A period before “for example” is incorrect. You may argue this if you want, but I do not accept that “for example” can start an independent sentence.
"Under cross-examination by hospital lawyer Patrick Ducharme, Rose said Hotel Dieu managers had been "very reponsive" to Dupont; for example, they offered her a more secure parking spot."

Wednesday

PRONUNCIATION - "ACCESSORIES"

“Accessories” is pronounced “Ack-sessories”. Saying the two “Cs” as “S” is wrong.

PRACTICE/PRACTISE

“Practice”is a noun in British spelling and means training by multiple uses or the exercise of a profession.

“Practise” is the verb form in British spelling and means to learn by repetition or to do a job.

“Practise” is used for both the noun and the verb in the US.

I prefer the British usage.

LICENCE/LICENSE

“Licence”is a noun in British spelling and means permission or leave to do something.

“License” is the verb form in British spelling and means to authorize officially

“License” is used for both the noun and the verb in the US.

I prefer the British usage.

Thursday

How many errors can you find in the following?

"When pigeons roost on people's roofs they pick away at the shingles, the droppings on patios or decks are incredible."
This is a perfect example of a comma splice. A period or a semi-colon is needed. (# 1)
"When pigeons roost on people's roofs they pick away at the shingles; the droppings on patios or decks are incredible."

"People get affected when you have a neighbour literally spreading bags full of bird feed across their lawn."
People do not “get” affected; they “are” affected. Think of the sense of the words. (# 2)
“You” brings a second person point of view in a third person point of view sentence. It is unacceptable to mix these two points of view. (#3)
“People” is a plural noun. Therefore, “people” must have more than one “lawn”. This is reinforced by the word “their”.

"People are affected when they have a neighbour literally spreading bags full of bird feed across their lawns." (#4)

"But enforcement may be a problem, especially if a large number of complaints are received, according to the council report.
“Number” is singular and demands a singular verb.
"But enforcement may be a problem, especially if a large number of complaints is received, according to the council report. (# 5)


Friday

If this blog peaks your interest, please tell a friend or twelve about it.
“Peaks” is incorrect. The sense of the sentence implies “piques”.
If this blog piques your interest, please tell a friend or twelve about it.

I should have went to the store yesterday because the sale is not on today.
This is an unacceptable formation of the present perfect tense.
I should have gone to the store yesterday because the sale is not on today.

People are in such a hurry they don't hardly ever read newspapers any more.
This is an unacceptable double negative.
People are in such a hurry they hardly ever read newspapers any more.

Where did you get that at?
“Where” designates the place; “at” is not needed and is a dangling infinitive.
Where did you get that?

He successfully moderated the conference titled "Growing Your Business".
You do not “grow your business” any more than “your grow your hair”. This is a complete misuse of the meaning of the word.
He successfully moderated the conference titled "Developing Your Business".


THIS WEEK’S WORDS

Supercilious" (adj.) means having an arrogant superiority, haughty or self-important.

Collusion" (n.) means a secret agreement or arrangement.

Libertine" (n.) means a person who is morally unrestrained or corrupt, a degenerate or a profligate.

Laconic" (adj.) means crisp, effectively concise, brief or terse.

Maladroit" (adj.) means awkward or not dexterous.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Under cross-examination by hospital lawyer Patrick Ducharme, Rose said Hotel Dieu managers had been "very reponsive" to Dupont; for example, they offered her a more secure parking spot."

Shouldn't there be a comma after the word "lawyer"? If not, why not?

Thanks!

Ian said...

I guess that it depends on what the writer is trying to communicate.
If Rose’s statement came as a result of the specific questioning by Patrick Ducharme and not by another hospital lawyer then no comma is needed. If more importance is being attached to the statement being by the hospital lawyer and “Patrick Ducharme” is just useful additional information and a comma on either side is appropriate.
A good guide is to say it in your head and listen for the emphasis.