Friday Follies #110 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Hi Friday Follyites!  The Grammar Cop has decided on presenting you with a mixed bag of language lawlessness this week. (Gosh I love alliteration! 😀 )

  1. THE NEW YORKER: “His reforms survived to breed other reforms, many of which he disapproved of.” (Bonus points if you can guess who “he” is. No fair Googling!)
  2. THE SUBURBAN: “On Sunday, Oct. the 15, Montreal Walks for Mental Health invites everyone to…”
  3. CLOSED CAPTIONING on THE GOOD DOCTOR: Okay, normally Friday Follies doesn’t concern itself with verbal boo-boos as opposed to written ones. (If it did, it would use up all the Internet! 😀 ) However, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard this in a popular TV show, but then a split second later, I read it in the caption (which I always have on during dramas; actors whisper, darn it!) The caption read: “Both you and your son’s prognosis is excellent.”



  1. Did you notice the extra “of”? It’s right at the end, after the verb “disapproved.” It’s wrong, because you already have an “of” in the phrase “many of which.” The sentence should end after “disapproved.” Did you guess it’s about Martin Luther? Correct! (He’s been big news lately since it’s the 500th anniversary of his first “protest” which led to Protestantism.)
  2. “Oct. the 15”? How awful is that! There are many ways to write it correctly, but this isn’t one of them. You can say: October 15; Oct. 15; October 15th; Oct. 15th; or even the 15th of October (terribly formal). But “Oct. the 15”? Never!
  3. Notice that the verb “is” is singular. The subject involves two people. So it looks wrong. But it actually isn’t, because the subject is the prognosis, which is singular. Ay yi. So I would eliminate the clumsiness by rewriting the sentence like this: The prognosis for both you and your son is excellent. Like it? I do!

The Grammar Cop bids you so long until “Nov. the 10,” when she will have a whole new crop of brazen bloopers for you to go “Tsk, tsk” about. Have a great week!



8 thoughts on “Friday Follies #110 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1. I would have written, “His reforms survived to breed other reforms, many which he disapproved of.” And yes, I guessed it was about Martin Luther!

    2. Sunday, Oct. the 15 is dead and buried anyway. 😀

    3. As the parent and son each have their own prognosis, shouldn’t it be, “Both you and your son’s prognoses are excellent.”?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1-Ending a sentence with a preposition in addition to using it in the sentence as if the sentence could not be understood. I rest my case. Sentenced to 5 years hard labour.
    2-Beware the Ides of October the 15!
    3-Isn’t the plural of prognosis “prognocerosii”?

    Liked by 1 person

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