Friday Follies #131 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Sometimes the Grammar Cop reads something that makes her go “Whaaaaat?” Today’s batch o’ bloopers is about some of those times.

Note that these quotes are reproduced, as usual, exactly as they appeared in the media: spelling, punctuation, grammar warts and all.

  1. “In an interview with Curtin shortly before he passed away, Shimon Peres, the one-time Israeli president and prime minister, touched on one of the most troubling themes…”
  2. (Photo caption) “A sample of the shows to come, during the press conference like, Roch Voisine, Roxane Bruneau Mara Tremblay a local star at this year’s FrancoFolies”
  3. “Tickets for the shows are on sale since this Friday at the various venues where they are taking place.”



Attempted corrections:

  1. The way this sounds now, it appears as if the unfortunate “Curtin” passed away shortly after the interview. But upon further reading, that interpretation makes no sense, because “Curtin” is still very much alive as of this moment. Finally the realization hits: the writer meant to say “shortly before Shimon Peres passed away.” The sentence must be rewritten, perhaps as: Former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres, shortly before he passed away, was interviewed by Curtin, and touched on one of the most troubling themes… The point is to reword it so that it doesn’t look as if it was Curtin who died. The writer must remember those famous words: if at first you don’t succeed, rewrite, rewrite again. Okay, they’re not exactly famous, but – close enough! 😀
  2. This is yet another example of a mangled caption probably slapped together by the graphic artist who did the layout, and whose forte is definitely not text. It may be safely rewritten as: Shows to come at this year’s FrancoFolies include Roch Voisine, Roxane [spelling was checked – usually it has two n’s, but not this time] Bruneau, and Mara Tremblay, a local star.
  3. Hmm. “Since this Friday”? What does that mean? Does it mean since last Friday? Or from this coming Friday on, i.e. as of this coming Friday? We must decide what we mean to say, and express it accordingly. Too often, we don’t have our thoughts clear in our mind before setting pen to paper (or fingers on keyboard). That’s how our prose can end up making no sense. It also helps to read our work over afterward. Aloud, if possible. Edit like crazy!

Advice for today: We must think. Then write. Then proofread. I think I will write: that’s all for today! Have a lovely week, everyone!



15 thoughts on “Friday Follies #131 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. Hmmm, but now I’m confused whose quote we’re hearing, once-president’s or interviewers.


    Curtin interviewed the former Israeli president and prime minister, Shimon Peres, shortly before Peres passed away. During the interview, Peres touched on one of the most troubling themes…

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I wrote that he was interviewed by Curtin…and touched on one of…. I don’t see the confusion there. I only say “he” once and it’s clear I’m referring to Peres.


  2. I hate when I have to read and re-read a sentence or paragraph to “get” it, plus I find myself correcting someone’s grammar sometimes when I hear a story on the radio and the sentence is unclear. I’m talking to myself saying “wait a minute …” and have to hear the story the next hour to figure it out. I know I make grammatical mistakes too, but hopefully not as glaring as these are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. When I read the Curtin piece in the Montreal Gazette earlier, I had to read that sentence over three times to “get it.”

    2. Why don’t the authors of articles write their own photo captions and submit them along with the article and photos? That seems to be a simple solution.

    3. On sale since this Friday??? OMG I’m late. Or early. I don’t know. I’m so confused!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The article writers don’t always know what photos will end up going with the piece. But yes sometimes they do submit them. Those are the ones with no errors in them! 😁


  4. 1-The interview took place in the great beyond with the services of a medium. She was rather cheerful; a happy medium.
    2-So like, these shows are so, like, happening. Totes rad!
    3-The writer is obviously an advocate of the B-theory of time (The flow of time is an illusion, that the past, present and future are equally real, and that time is tenseless. Or in the case of the writer, senseless.)

    Liked by 1 person

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