Friday Follies #17 – Three mistakes that make me go “Arghhh”!

The Grammar Cop brings you three bloopers gleaned from two very different sources.

  1. First up comes from an online “sports news” website. I got there via an article about a tennis player whose ups and downs I happen to follow. (Her career so far has indeed been a bit of a roller coaster: Number 4 in the world in 2014, down to number 49 in 2015.) Well, the writer of this piece isn’t so hot either… at spelling. Get a load of this: “Her success in Hobart could either aid their defense in court or at least lesson the damages if they…”  Really? To lessen the damages might be better. I would expect more from a purportedly world-wide outfit calling itself SPORTS WORLD NEWS, and located on Broadway in New York.
  2. Now we’re back to THE SUBURBAN, a Montreal weekly. Sometimes I need to take a break from it, to give my proofreading eyes a rest. 😉 But now I’m back in earnest, and I’d like to present two of the errors I found. See if you can identify this one: “As an attorney, activist and most importantly as a mother of a teenage daughter, the role of women in our society has always been an important issue for me.” Dangling modifier, anyone?
  3. Again in The Suburban, the same person writes, “This initiative has an unrivalled [sic – Canadian spelling] record for choosing honorees who display the courage, character and conscience that effects the positive change our society needs.”  The problem is the the word “effects.” What’s wrong with it? It’s singular. But it should be plural, because the subject of it is plural: “courage, character and conscience” – three items. So the verb should be plural in order to be in agreement. Other than that, I must give credit to the writer for her correct use of “effect” as opposed to “affect.” I’ve written before about that frequent confusion here.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting! Let me know when and where you spot any boo-boos. I will present them in a “Reader’s Choice” future episode of Friday Follies!

6 thoughts on “Friday Follies #17 – Three mistakes that make me go “Arghhh”!

  1. I suppose it’s possible (that it’s a typo) but somehow I doubt it. Wouldn’t a typo be more likely to be something like LESSWN or LESSXN or LESSRN? Heh, just my silly take. But in my guise as my alter ego, Grammar Cop, I have found that yes, people *can* be that stupid!


  2. Your last example is incorrect on two counts with regard to “effects.” Not only should it be plural, it should also be “affect” – Affect is the verb, Effect, the noun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, sorry Penny, you are wrong on both counts. Yes, “effects’ should of course be plural here, as I said. But note that the plural form of this verb does NOT have an ‘s’ on the end. You are confusing a plural verb (NO ‘s’ ending) with a plural noun (has an ‘s’ ending). Look it up.

      Second: There is indeed a use for “effect” as a verb. It means “to bring about.” Look here: — in particular, this: “tr.v. ef·fect·ed, ef·fect·ing, ef·fects
      To bring about; make happen; cause or accomplish: effect a cure for a disease; effect a change in policy.”

      The Grammar Cop VERY VERY RARELY makes mistakes.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I wonder whether the “lesson” error is a Freudian slip; perhaps the damages teach a lesson? Not that it matters, because whatever the underlying meaning, the grammar is still faulty. (Tennis pun intended.)

    Liked by 1 person

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