The Grammar Cop has had it up to here, FF fans! There are just so many mistakes she sees, over and over again. Not that she expects magic to happen by pointing them out, but just maybe there will be one less boo-boo offending the eyes of people who happen to love and respect the English language, and – oh, sorry, I could rant all day. 😀 Anyway, here are just a few of these common offences (Canadian/British spelling, thank you).
- WHO’S when it should be WHOSE. You cannot say “who’s pizza is that.” The possessive form is: whose pizza is that. The only time you can say who’s is when it’s a contraction for who is, as: Who’s picking up the pizza?
- STAUNCH when it should be STANCH. You cannot say “he staunched the flow of tomato sauce”; it should be he stanched the flow of tomato sauce; i.e., he stopped it. Stanch is a verb. Yes, there is a word staunch, but it has a completely different meaning. Staunch is an adjective which usually describes a person, as in she is a staunch defender of pizza without mushrooms (which she abhors). Staunch means stubborn or strong.
- PHASE when it should be FAZE (or vice-versa). You cannot say “the extra-large pizza didn’t phase him; he was starving.” The word phase is usually a noun meaning a stage, such as a stage of existence or readiness, i.e., phases of the moon. It can also be a verb as in the 10-inch pizza size was phased out since no one was ordering it. But when you want to express the notion of deterrence, you must use the verb, faze. So the sentence above becomes the extra-large pizza didn’t faze him; i.e., he wasn’t scared off by it. One more:
- LAY when it should be LIE (or vice-versa). Oh my gosh. This one drives me crazy. I lie down. I was lying down. I lay down. These are different tenses of the verb, to lie. It is an intransitive verb, which means it never takes an object. (One cannot lie something down.)
I lay the pizza on the table. I was laying the pizza down. I laid the pizza down. These are different tenses of the verb, to lay. It is a transitive verb, which means it always takes an object. (One always lays something down.)
Do not be confused by the past tense of each verb. The past tense of lie is lay. The past tense of lay is laid. Clear as mud?
I will leave to, too and two; there, they’re and their; your, you’re and – no that’s it, just your and you’re – for another time. I’m am tired now and must LIE down. Next week we shall return to our regularly scheduled programming. Until then – enjoy your pizza! 😀