Friday Follies #173 โ€“ Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

TGIF, FFers! The Grammar Cop’s collection of glitches this week is sure to annoy, agitate and amaze you. But you’d expect nothing less by now, would you?! ๐Ÿ˜

  1. “Despite the release of paperwork and interviews with family members, the public and media has continued to speculate on how or if Pozzi died.”
  2. “Not knowing how to speak neither English nor French upon his arrival, Bill made…”
  3. “Was Mr. Butts resignation related to the fact that Cameron Ahmad, a PMO spokesman, has confirmed to…”

 

The corrections:

  1. The word that should have leaped out at you when you read it was “has.” Why? Because it is singular, when it should be plural. Let’s look more closely at the relevant part of the sentence: “the public and media has continued…” There are two subjects here: “public” and “media.” Therefore the verb has to be plural in order to agree with them: have continued. The sentence must become Despite the release of paperwork and interviews with family members, the public and media have continued to speculate on how or if Pozzi died. Also please note: even if the subject was just the word “media” by itself, the verb would still be plural, because the noun media is always plural. (The singular would be medium.)
  2. The mistakes here should also have immediately grabbed your attention. This sentence contains three negatives: “not”… “neither” … “nor.” Overkill! This sentence (yes yes, sentence fragment!) would be perfectly correct without the “neither” and its negative companion, “nor”; so it should be: Not knowing how to speak English or French upon his arrival, Bill made… The “not” at the beginning conveys the intended meaning perfectly.
  3. We need a possessive form of “Mr. Butts” here, since the “resignation” was his – it belonged to him. I prefer to add ‘s to his name, so it becomes Mr. Butts’s resignation. Some people like Mr. Butts’ resignation; but that seems wrong… To me, an s’ designates a plural possessive, but there is only one Mr. Butts. Apparently. ๐Ÿ˜

I hope these criminal corrections are clear, because if not, the Grammar Cop would have to find another line of work. And I for one would miss her! ๐Ÿ˜œ

 

 

4 thoughts on “Friday Follies #173 โ€“ Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

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