Here are the corrections and explanations for last week's entries.
“Apropos” means relevant or apt or connected to what has gone on before.
“Appropriate” (adj.) means suitable for a particular person or cause. The emphasis is on the second syllable.
“Appropriate” (v.) means to take without permission, to earmark or to preserve. The emphasis is in the last syllable.
“Effluent” (n.) refers to water mixed with waste material, or sewer water. As an adjective, it means outflowing.
“Affluent” (n.) refers to a person who is financially well off. As an adjective, it means flush, loaded, moneyed or wealthy.
SOME FAVOURITE NO-NOs
Read the following and resolve never to use any of them for any reason.
“I should of went to the game yesterday.”
“Of” can never be used in place of “have”; “of” is a preposition; “have”, in this case, is an auxiliary verb.
“Went” is the past tense of the verb “to go”; “gone” is the correct form to be used.
“I should have gone to the game yesterday.”
“I seen her when she was trying to get away.”
“Saw”, the past tense of the verb “to see”, must be used.
“I saw her when she was trying to get away.”
“Where did you get that at?”
“At” is a dangling preposition and is unacceptable; it, also, is redundant because “where” accomplishes the question of place; it must be eliminated.
“Where did you get that?”
“The girl went missing last week and hasn't been seen since.”
People DO NOT “GO MISSING”! That is a totally unacceptable expression. Really, it does not even make sense.
People disappear or vanish but they DO NOT GO MISSING!
“The girl vanished last week and hasn't been seen since.”
“The girl got her purse stolen yesterday.”
People do not “get things stolen” unless they are planning a heist. Things ARE stolen; they DO NOT GET STOLEN; “get stolen” doesn’t even make sense; after all, how does a thing make such a determination? DUH!
“The girl’s purse was stolen yesterday.”
Identify, explain and correct the error in the following.
“Neither the skunk nor the officer were injured.”
“Neither/nor” is singular so the verb must also be singular.
“Neither the skunk nor the officer was injured.”
Afterwards”, an adverb, indicates time, as in, “I am busy; I will talk with you afterwards”.
“Afterwords” are the words written or spoken at the ends of books or speeches, that is, “words after” the main content.
In response to a Comment request , here are some tips on using the word "many".
“Many”, as an adjective means constituting or forming a large number or numerous, as in “many people”. The comparative and superlative forms of “many” are “more” and “most”.
“Many”, as a noun means a large or considerable number of persons or things as in “A good many of the beggars were blind”.
“Many”, as a pronoun means various or numerous persons or things, as in “Many were unable to attend the funeral”.
"Many fish" is correct and is natural. The idea that it is unnatural might arise from the word "fish" which can be used singularly or plurally.
So, commenter, your use is completely correct and you need not be concerned about unnaturalness.
In response to another Comment request, there is a discussion of "assure", "ensure" and "insure" in the archives in the entry of May 3, 2009, "Corrections & Explanations - May 3, 2009".
SOMETHING WORTH EMULATING
Identify the author of the following thought.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Dale Carnegie said this.
LAST WEEK’S WORDS
“Mountebank” (n.) is a noun naming a deceiver, a charlatan, a criminal or a crook.
“Ecclesiastical” (adj.) means pertaining to the church or the clergy as opposed to the laity.
“Ecclesia” (n.) refers to a congregation or a church.
“Ecclesiastic” (n.) refers to a clergyman or a person in orders.
“Ecclesiastes” (n.) is a book of the Old Testament of the bible.
“Longevity” (n.) means great or unusual length of service, longness or continuance in time.
“Pluralism” (n.) is a doctrine or philosophical theory that reality consists a of several basic substances or elements. It also refers to the character of being plural or of holding two offices at the same time.