Hi, Friday Folliettes! It’s been a fruitful week for the Grammar Cop; her cup runneth over. (See what I did there? The semi-colon! Sigh… It is so under-appreciated!)
Now, regarding the over-runneth cup – this week’s haul ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. Well, of course all these boo-boos are ridiculous, but I was referring to their sources: all the way from the New Yorker‘s website to our local
rag print weekly, The Suburban. Let’s start with…
- NEWYORKER.COM: “I know that he’s taken some flack lately – no one is prouder to put this…” And move along to…
- THE SUBURBAN: “…that’s expected to eventually become the first major food recovery program…”
- THE SUBURBAN: “…containing the music of the remarkable David Botwinik, whom at 96 years young is still…”
And the corrections are (the envelope please – and not the wrong one!):
- The correct word needed here is flak. Probably some flack wrote the article and didn’t know that when one receives criticism or opposition, one “takes some flak.” On the other hand, a “flack” usually refers to a second-rate journalist.
- Contrary to what we learned in elementary school, a “split infinitive” is not a crime. Placing “eventually” between “to” and “become” isn’t a problem. (Where the heck else can you put it that makes sense? Nowhere.) No, the mistake I want to point out here is yet another example of hyphen-o-phobia: “food recovery program.” This phrase is ambiguous without a hyphen, which must go between “food” and “recovery.” The reason is that the program focuses on food recovery. We’re not talking about a “recovery program” that has to do with food. It’s a program that involves the recovery of food. There’s a difference – subtle, maybe, but it’s there. A well-placed hyphen clarifies!
- Really now. didn’t the “whom” jump up and hit you in the eye? Ouch! It did to me! The word “whom” should, of course, be who in this sentence. “Whom” is never the subject of a verb. The verb here is “is.” We would never say, for example, “Whom” is at the door? Or: “Wow! Whom just whacked the ball over the fence for a home run!” “Whom?” No, who! Clear as mud, maybe?
Well, no matter who you are, I hope you return to Friday Follies in seven days. Meanwhile, you may give me some flak in the comments below. I hope you have a food-filled seven days!