Friday Follies #174 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Grammar goofs reign supreme in this week’s Friday Follies, thanks to the eagle eye – okay, eyes – of you-know-who.

  1. “It does not meet peoples needs.”
  2. “The ideological bent in many government circles today that is anti growth and development is wrong.”
  3. “Bradley, there is not a single person on the planet that could have sang this song with me but you.”


The corrections:

  1. Since “people” must be shown as possessing their needs, we have to add an apostrophe-s, not just an s alone. The correct form becomes: It does not meet people’s needs. A side note: If you thought it should be “peoples’,” that would be incorrect. Why? Because people is already a plural noun. It does not take the plural possessive s’ after it.
  2. The first thing to hit you was probably the example of hyphen-o-phobia, shown in “anti growth” – which should be anti-growth. The reason is that “anti” cannot stand alone, since here it is not a word in itself but a prefix attached to “growth.” Astute readers will also spot another boo-boo in this sentence, which is: it is not a sentence. It is a mere sentence fragment. However, if you add the words is and government in the proper places, a perfect sentence results: The ideological bent in many government circles today is that government is anti-growth and development is wrong.
  3. FFers who watched the Oscars show on TV last Sunday night will instantly recognize this statement made by Lady Gaga, referring to the song, “Shallow.” But did they also notice the grammatical mistake she made? She should have said sung, not “sang.” The reason? The verb form for “to sing” in the past tense using “have” always uses sung: I have sung, you have sung, etc. So when do we use “sang”? We use it in the simple past tense: I sang, you sang, etc.

Clear as mud? Yes, but the Grammar Cop’s mud is beneficial! And soothing! 😁 Tune in next week for more fixes of muddy grammar gaffes.


6 thoughts on “Friday Follies #174 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

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