Friday Follies #251 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Hi FF followers! You’re just in time for the Grammar Cop’s latest nest o’ nasties! 😄

  1. Among the most popular choice of Trebek successors is the multi-lingual computer science and English literature grad who spent an unprecedented 74 weeks in the victor’s spot.
  2. It’s not yet known what exactly lead to the individual’s death; however all contestants are required to undergo medical exams prior to participating in the obstacle course.
  3. This husband and wife team has achieved near legendary status in the speculative fiction writing world.

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And the corrections:

  1. The first incorrect item here is in the phrase, “Among the most popular choice of Trebek successors is…” If you use the preposition “among,” you have to follow it with more than one thing or person. So it should say that the 74-week victor (Ken Jennings!) is among the choices of Trebek successors… The Grammar Cop finds this wording clunky, since the sentence would now contain two plurals: choices and successors. So we can reword it: Perhaps the most popular choice of Trebek successors is the multilingual computer-science and English-literature grad who spent an unprecedented 74 weeks in the victor’s spot. Or: One of the most popular choices for a successor to Trebek is the multilingual computer-science and English-literature grad who spent an unprecedented 74 weeks in the victor’s spot. (Notice, too, that the word “multi-lingual” has lost its hyphen… on purpose. It is all one word. But hyphens have been added between computer science and English literature, since they’re used here as compound adjectives modifying “grad.”)
  2. Regular Friday Follies readers should spot this boo-boo immediately – if not sooner. 😀 The past tense of the verb, “lead,” is spelled led. We must drop the “a.” It’s different from “read,” which keeps the same spelling. What’s a good way to remember this? How about the saying, “Get the lead out!” The word “out” could remind us that the  “a” comes OUT when the word is in the past tense. No? Okay, then find a better memory trick! The challenge begins… NOW! 😆
  3. Here we have a severe case of hyphen-o-phobia! They’re needed in order to create the necessary compound adjectives, in front of the respective nouns that they modify. Here’s how the sentence must read, with each noun in bold: This husband-and-wife team has achieved near-legendary status in the speculative-fiction-writing world.

Easy-peasy. No? Hmm, how about just “peasy”? See you next week, fellow grammarphiles, when we will delve into more gruesome glitches. Until then, have a happy and safe week!

8 thoughts on “Friday Follies #251 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1-The category is “Plurals”. What is do not use two plurals in the same sentence?
    2-The coroner confirmed it was lead poisoning that led to the writer’s demise.
    3-The cure for hyphen-o-phobia has yet to be developed. In the meantime, take two aspirin and call me in the morning. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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