Hi, fellow grammar grinches! This week the Grammar Cop presents an All-Suburban gaffe-fest! Yes, our local weekly, The Suburban, has outdone itself lately. Here are the offensive items.
- “Let’s chat with Anna Maria Tosco, our Sassy Psychologist blogger, who’s no-holds-barred posts have been…” Okay. Listen up. In the same way that it’s is a contraction for it is, who’s is a contraction for who is. But in the excerpt as shown, who’s is not what is required. The word should be whose, which is the possessive form of who. However, I would like to offer kudos to the writer for properly inserting the hyphens in the adjectival phrase, no-holds-barred. All too often, hyphens go missing… which leads me to my next point.
- “…a friend of the 19 year old student named ‘Emily’…” That should be 19-year-old student. Adjectival phrase.
- “It was that same positivity that lead to Butt’s shining moment at…” What is the past tense of lead? Why, led, of course. Case closed. “But wait,” you may say. The past tense of read is spelled read, so why is this different?” Trust me – grammar cop extraordinaire. IT JUST IS. But seriously, English is full of weird things like this that make no sense. Expert lexicographers (of which I am not one) put it down to the fact that our language is derived from many other languages, and thus a hodge-podge of spelling and grammar oddities are unavoidable. To keep all this straight, people like me rely on various tricks of the trade, such as, well, a photographic memory for how words are spelled, as well as mnemonic devices such as “I before e, except after c, or when sounded like a, as in neighbour and weigh.” Et cetera.
- “…as well as it’s online gaming…” Oh, this is like shooting fish in a barrel, as the saying goes. For what is an issue of The Suburban, without an incorrect it’s which should be its, as a possessive.
Whenever I read The Suburban, I have to squint in order to minimize the damage done to my retina from all the errors. Good thing the paper’s only a weekly. 🙂