Friday Follies #150 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Hi there, Friday Folly-ites. The Grammar Cop welcomes you back to her grab-bag o’ gaffes! Settle in for a spell – and squirm.

  1. “Mara Tremblay and her rock-style music will be performing at the Astral, on…”
  2. “…Robin Williams has charmed and entertained millions of fans around the world with his manic, runaway train-style of stand-up comedy…”
  3. “Unfortunately, following a loan that was taken out by a lender who died following a few business reversals, all of the building’s valuable frescoes – inspired by the Egyptian renaissance that influenced a lot of early 20th century decoration – were carefully cut out, loaded onto a truck and ‘disappeared’ down the road before another one of the city’s Sunday night fires closed the theatre forever.”


The corrections:

  1. Here we have an error that almost slipped by me on first reading. But I knew something was wrong. Did you think so, too? Here’s why: Mara Tremblay will indeed perform at the Astral. But will her “rock-style music” perform? No, because “music” is not a performer. Only a person is a performer. The sentence must be rewritten, for example as: Mara Tremblay will be performing her rock-style music at the Astral… Oh, I suppose kudos are due for the hyphen in rock-style. Who says I never notice the good? 😁
  2. I am not thrilled with the present perfect tense of “has charmed.” It implies that he’s still alive. The simple past tense (charmed and entertained…) will suffice. Also, a hyphen is needed between “runaway” and “train” – but is not needed between train and style. So it should say: with his manic, runaway-train style of stand-up comedy. (Runaway-train is a compound adjective modifying the noun, style.) By the way: more kudos for the hyphen in stand-up.
  3. I found two mistakes in this LONG sentence. (However, it’s not as long as previous ones cited by the Grammar Cop, so I’ll let it go.) The first error is “20th century” which should be 20th-century, as it’s a compound adjective modifying the noun, “decoration.” So we have 20th-century decoration. (See here if you’re not convinced, especially the line, “For a timeline of 20th-century events, see Timeline of the 20th century…”)  The second error is another lack of a hyphen in a compound adjective: “Sunday night fires” should be Sunday-night fires.

I expect that by now you grasp the concept of compound adjectives. However, the Grammar Cop will keep hammering it into your poor, defenceless brains, because she can. Oh, and it’s defenceless, not defenseless, since I’m Canadian, eh? 😁



11 thoughts on “Friday Follies #150 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1-The hyphen was really a clever ruse to distract you from the other error. Little did they know that the Grammar Cop has been upgraded to Detective Chief Inspector!
    3-Unfortunately, following this sentence to the end was too much for me. I’m tired. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1) That’s right. That’s ’cause they just haven’t been paying enough attention, have they?!
      2) However did you know that?!
      3) I know that feeling exactly! Why, after doing an FF post, the Grammar Cop has to lie down for *hours*! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I caught number one immediately, maybe because I’m a musician. Number two was easy, since you’ve spurred my recognition of hyphen-needing words. Oh, boy! Number three was awful. I never reached the lack of hyphens. I was stuck going in circles trying to figure out all the following going on. Did they really need to use the word “following” twice in the first 14 words? I couldn’t follow the story of a loan taken out by a dead lender. I was hyperventilating before hyphenating. Go easy on us next week, because I’m feeling woozy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne Mehrling! The “following” repetition is a VERY good catch! I actually saw it when I was still in the stage of compiling the items for the post. I remember saying to myself, “Oh, I must point that out, and suggest that the word “after” be substituted for one of them. But then I totally forgot! Eye roll! Ten lashes with a wet noodle, as Ann Landers used to say! But yes, those looonnngggg sentences are horrible, aren’t they!


  3. Now defenceless jumped out at me and the I realized it was the Canadian spelling – interesting because I have never seen it spelled like that and I recognize more Canadian spellings like the double “le”, “re” instead of “er” and insertion of the “u” as in colour. That was new for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Mediums”: grrrr!
      The Grammar 👮‍♀️ demands to know where you got her badge! What’s that?? Er… you say you… “made it”? Oh. Well alrighty then… 😬


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