Today, Friday Follies fans, the Grammar Cop has gathered some great examples of “wrong-word-itis” for you. Pull up a chair! 😃
- …during the Tudor times this had been a secret Catholic meeting place where Catholics could meet and prey far from the eyes of the protestant king.
- Most significantly, Trump promised to staunch the stream of refugees and immigrants flowing into the United States.
- Ah, but then the venerable legal scholar Alan Dershowitz brushes that away, saying that a sitting president has, essentially, carte blanche to get re-elected for the sake of the nation, that he is impugn so long as he believes his re-election is paramount to the successful future of the country.
And the corrections:
- Okay: what does “prey” mean? Generally it means an animal that another animal hunts, usually for food. (I’m not counting Don Jr. and his predilection for killing big cats. I doubt he eats them. 😠) But in this sentence, “prey” is used instead of the correct word, pray.
- Any time you want to stop or slow a flow of something, the word you want is not “staunch,” but stanch. It’s usually used with “blood,” as in stanch the flow of blood. Okay, enough, this is getting too grisly now. Oh wait, just one last grisly item…
- (The Grammar Cop is very sorry about the content, but hey, somebody’s gotta look for boo-boos somewhere, huh?) Did you spot the mistake? Here’s a clue: it starts with an “i.” No? Fine, fine, it’s “impugn.” The writer had the first two letters right, but then went right off the rails of overconfidence. “Impugn” is a verb meaning to “attack as false or questionable; challenge in argument.” Clearly it does not fit in the phrase, “that he is impugn so long as he…” No. The word called for here was immune. If you read it as part of the whole sentence, you’ll see it’s perfect!
And now it’s off to a perfect week-end of less snow, gentler winds, and maybe even a bit of sun peeking through the clouds. See you next Friday!