Friday Follies #125 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Nice to see you again, Friday Folliettes! Here’s a mixed bag of boo-boos, gathered for you by the ever-vigilant Grammar Cop.

  1. “The USTA has countered that Bouchard should not have been in the training room without a trainer, and that she slipped and fell at 11 p.m., when she should have known the training room would be being cleaned.”
  2. “We offer eco friendly low emission alternatives.”
  3. “The former White House advisor … didn’t respond to requests for comment … but a source close to him reportedly did not deny the varacity of the insult.”


  1. I nearly spit out my coffee when I read this: “…she should have known the training room would be being cleaned.” WOULD BE BEING CLEANED??? What language is that? This should have been caught by an editor, proofreader, or anyone with an education consisting of more than three years of primary school. There is no such verb construction as “would be being cleaned.” The sentence should be rewritten as: “she should have known the room was being cleaned” OR “she should have known the room had been cleaned” OR “she should have known the room would be cleaned” OR “she should have known the room was undergoing a cleaning,” depending on the timing of the cleaning activity.
  2. Here we have another case of rampant hyphen-o-phobia. Hyphens must be inserted, but apparently were looked upon in terror by the writer of this nonsense. It should say: “We offer eco-friendly low-emission alternatives.” I would also like to see a comma after eco-friendly, just to make it even clearer: “We offer eco-friendly, low-emission alternatives.”
  3. This is another mistake that almost caused coffee-spitting activity: “varacity” is not a word. The correct spelling is veracity, meaning truthfulness. The absence of an editor or proofreader is hard to imagine, since this was in a large bona fide British newspaper, The Independent (online version). (By the way, the adjectival phrase, bona fide, doesn’t take a hyphen. It’s a Latin phrase, so we don’t fool with it. 😉 ) But even in the absence of illustrious copy editors, there are always spell-check programs. True, they don’t flag every mistake, but they do catch a lot. (NOT “alot”!)

Well this was fun! If nothing else, it entertained you all with visions of the Grammar Cop spitting a mouthful of coffee across her table. Okay, that’s not very pretty, but neither are these bloopers she has to look at, week after week! Oh well. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it, right? Er, right?? 😬

13 thoughts on “Friday Follies #125 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1-That editor should not be being working without a trainer.
    2-And we offer eco-friendly-hyphen-o-phobia-editing.
    3-There’s no truth in the White House so it’s easy to see how this mistake was made.

    Towels will now be supplied when reading newspapers. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. YouTube Boy? He done been committed, for a 2-3 week stay in juvenile system, 100 miles away.

        How you like “done been” . The bug? no one knows, perhaps it starved, after reaching the inner space in his head.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah is so happy he done been committed! 😂😂😂 Even if temporary; hopefully they’ll find him a group home or something like that where he doesn’t have to live with an apparently neglectful mother. “Done been” is fine ‘n’ dandy ‘n’ peachy keen! Lol. Yes I’m positive it must’ve starved! 😂😂😂

          Liked by 1 person

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