Friday Follies #178 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Hi, FF fans! The Grammar Cop has some beastly bloopers for you today!

  1. “As recent as February 18, Mayor Valerie Plante issued a statement announcing new measures to make the city safer for pedestrians.”
  2. “It’s no secret that the surveys disseminated to President Donald Trump’s supporters from his 2020 reelection campaign is less for information and more directed at glorifying Trump or vilifying Democrats.”
  3. “We have some 100,000 puzzles in-stock in our 7,500 square foot facility,” proclaims Robert…”

 

And the corrections:

  1. Most of you probably spotted this gaffe right away. The rest, not so much. The word “recent” should be recently, because it is an adverb modifying the verb issued. The mistake would be more obvious if “recent” had been placed more closely to “issued,” such as in: Mayor V. P. recent issued a statement… See what I mean? So the sentence should read: As recently as February 18, Mayor Valerie Plante issued a statement announcing new measures to make the city safer for pedestrians.
  2. The problem here is the tiny word, “is,” because it doesn’t agree with the plural subject, “surveys.”  It should be surveys are, and the whole sentence would be:  It’s no secret that the surveys disseminated to President Donald Trump’s supporters from his 2020 reelection campaign are less for information and more directed at glorifying Trump or vilifying Democrats. (I also hate “less for … and more directed at” but am too annoyed at this point to correct it! 😁 Any takers?)
  3. What we have here is a failure to hyphenate properly… twice in the same sentence! In the first instance, there is no need for a hyphen in “in-stock.” It should be in stock. A hyphen would only be necessary if the phrase came in front of the noun, as in: some in-stock puzzles.* The reverse is true in the next instance, “in our 7,500 square foot facility,” where you need hyphens: 7,500-square-foot facility. The entire corrected sentence is: We have some 100,000 puzzles in stock in our 7,500-square-foot facility,” proclaims Robert.

*This is the general rule in English: a well-taught subject / the subject was well taught. The well-run class / the class was well run. (An exception: when the adverb ends in -ly, a hyphen is not used: The badly taught subject / the badly run class.)

The Grammar Cop feels your pain, and hopes that English will become more simplified as the decades and centuries go on!

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Friday Follies #178 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. Here’s one from this morning’s NYT: “…the Biospherian Mark Nelson says that only a small fraction of that data have been analyzed and published.” Of course, data is plural, but the subject is “a fraction”.

    Liked by 1 person

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