Friday Follies #134 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Once again, the Grammar Cop brings you a lovely (laughable!) selection of lulus.

  1. “Resisting complacency and continually challenging oneself allows us to grow and get to know ourselves better.”
  2. “You can try to place these in niche curated outlets whose focus align with the themes or genres your book explores.”
  3. “Also, what about us indie authors who doesn’t yet have a ‘publicist’?”


Still with me? 😀  The corrections:

  1. There are actually two mistakes here. The one that really jumped out at me was the disagreement between “oneself” and, later, “ourselves.” The first pronoun should be changed to ourselves so it matches with “ourselves” later in the sentence. However, I hate repetition, so let’s reword the sentence. There is also another reason to rewrite this: There are two subjects in this sentence, yet the verb is singular. That’s a no-no! The subjects are the phrases 1)”resisting complacency,” and 2)”continually challenging oneself” – but the verb “allows” is meant for one subject, not two. (The “s” ending tells us it is third-person singular.) So what we have here is a sentence that is a mess. My reworking of it would be something like: Resisting complacency and continually challenging ourselves are two ways we can grow and become more self-aware. You may think of this as “extreme editing,” but hey, it works!
  2. Another awkward sentence, but for me it’s vastly improved with a simple correction of the verb’s agreement: “align” needs to be singular – aligns. Why? Because its subject is the singular noun, “focus.” (By the way, if you also said there should be a hyphen between “niche” and “curated,” I’d say nice try, but nope!  The words do not constitute a compound adjective. They are two separate adjectives, each complete in itself. We can say “niche outlet” as well as “curated” outlet and they would both make sense. This wouldn’t be the case, say, with “dog-friendly neighbourhood.” You can’t say “dog neighbourhood,” by itself.)
  3. To me, this verb shines with virtual neon lights: “doesn’t” should be don’t, because of the plural subject, “authors.” (I also dislike “us indie authors” – it would sound better to say indie authors like ourselves. But as this was merely in a comment on a blog post, we can let it pass. 🙂 )

But enough of my cantankerous verbose illuminations! ‘Tis time to partake of a warm libation of a chocolate nature and succumb to soporific sensations by reposing upon a delightful davenport. Ta-ta, darlings!

6 thoughts on “Friday Follies #134 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1-Clearly the writer has a split personality and will no doubt blame their other self for the erroneous grammar.
    2-The stars and planets would have to align for me to focus on this outlet. (BTW-I can say dog neighbourhood if I want to! 🙂 )
    3-Dose indie authors don’t have no publicists cos dey ain’t know no grammar. 😀
    A round of chocolate for everyone!


    1. You have definitely earned the right to say “dog neighbourhood” if you insist, due to all of your astute comments being so, well, astute! Thanks for the chocolate round, funny mermaid!


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