Friday Follies #108 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Hi again, Friday Follies fun-atics! Today the Grammar Cop has several wrong-word infractions to show you, as part of her efforts in language-crime prevention.

  1. MONTREAL TIMES: “This is a film that may interest people who like literature and those who want to know about the life of this reclusive author which until now continues to be one of the most celebrated American authors of all times.”
  2. MONTREAL TIMES: “[He] leaked essential information which ultimately implicated then-President Richard Nixon to the Watergate fiasco.”
  3. MONTREALGAZETTE.COM: “The nomadic company has travelled across Canada and around the globe, setting up site-specific shows, but its principle, longtime venue was the Bain St-Michel in the Plateau before it was closed indefinitely for renovations in 2015.”



The corrections:

  1. It might be easier to ask: What is right in this sentence? First of all, it’s horrendously long. The writer seems to think that the more clauses he can cram into one sentence, the better. (It contains no less than five!) But the mistake that jumped out at me when I first read it was the word “which.” It should be who, as in: …who until now continues to be… The reason is that the word who refers back to the “reclusive author.” An antecedent that is a person must take the pronoun who. (The pronoun “which” refers to a thing.) As my favourite online dictionary states: “Who: used to introduce a clause giving further information about a person or people previously mentioned.” Before I go, Mr. Writer of this Piece, please, please, next time break it up into two or three sentences. I also strongly suggest you re-read what you’ve written afterword, aloud if possible; it will help prevent the repetition of words such as: author/authors.
  2. You don’t implicate someone to something; you implicate them in something. So it should say “…implicated then-President Richard Nixon in the Watergate fiasco.” (The writer may have been thinking of to as in “linking to … the fiasco.”)
  3. The adjective needed here is principal, not “principle.”  The latter is never an adjective. So the wording should be: …its principal longtime venue was… Notice I omitted the comma after principal; it’s not necessary.

I sincerely hope that the principal grammar errors implicated in the above selections will not be perpetrated by any of my loyal FF readers. Stick with me, Follies followers! 😀


10 thoughts on “Friday Follies #108 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1-The film will definitely not interest writers who know about grammar and who will be laughing rather loudly as they eat their popcorn which is an American snack often eaten at the cinema. (I hope he reads this out loud several times!)
    2-Apparently Nixon, who claimed not to be a crook, was linked to the Watergate scandal as well as being in it up to his eyebrows.
    3-The show was closed and they were all sent to the principal’s office.

    Liked by 1 person

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