Friday Follies #175 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

The Grammar Cop never rests! This week she has amassed a simmering stew of (inedible) slips of the pen and/or typewriter keys. Take a look.

  1. “…on 12th Avenue in the burgeoning North East End Montreal suburb of Rosemount.”
  2. “All day long, riders can take as many 30 minutes trips as they like without paying a cent.”
  3. “The least we must do as citizens is be aware of what rights we can protect and how this province has once again attempted to thumb it’s nose at Ottawa.”


The corrections:

  1. “North East End” is very clumsy; it’s simply unnecessary to say it this way. The word “End” is absolutely not needed. “North East” should be combined into northeast, and whether or not it’s capitalized is a matter for various style guides. The Grammar Cop’s “internal” style guide feels that capitalization is better, since it’s the name of a specific geographical area, and it’s an adjective modifying “Montreal.” But your style guide may differ. Just sayin’. 😁 Anyway, the end result is: the burgeoning Northeast Montreal suburb of Rosemount. Oh, all right – as our lovely uber-French Quebec government would have it: Rosemont.
  2. What the heck is “30 minutes trips”? This is beyond ungrammatical – it’s not even English! Let’s examine this closely. We can all agree that “trips” is a plural noun. Right? Now can we all agree that these trips may last 30 minutes? Right. But we cannot say “30 minutes trips”! It’s wrong!  The correct phrase is 30-minute trips. And please note the hyphen. 30-minute is a compound adjective here, describing the noun “trips.” (However, if you say “The trip lasted 30 minutes,” that would be a different story. There, 30 minutes is not a compound adjective modifying anything.) Okay. Next!
  3. Once again, dear readers: IT’S is a contraction for IT IS.  ITS is possessive: “Its fur was matted.” Poor thing, it needs a groomer! Anyway, where was I? Yes! So the sentence should say: …this province has once again attempted to thumb its nose at Ottawa. It is referring to the province’s nose, so we must use ITS, for the possessive form.

This Friday Follies presentation has been brought to you by the Grammar Cop, and her parting words to you are: “AIEEEEEEE!! I JUST SAW ANOTHER MISTAAAAKE IN THE PAPERRRRR!!!” 😬

14 thoughts on “Friday Follies #175 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

        1. Funny, but that rule has stuck with me all these years … other things did not. 🙂 The professor must have been emphatic about it Ellie. Also, we were told that it is NEVER a dead body. “Dead body” is redundant. I hear that said all the time in reporting murders so maybe times have changed, stylebooks are revised. I also notice the trend is a sentence such as “he would say” rather than “he said” and I find it awkward personally, but I am not a proofreader nor do I pretend to know all aspects of grammar, but it sounds wrong to me.


  1. Got these and the “it’s” as a possessive … grrr! I still see it by my boss and he’ll draft something and I remove the apostrophe and he’ll ask why. No words. Then an e-mail will come from a client with the (*&^ apostrophe “s” and he’ll say “see __________ does it!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1-The EastEnders of Montreal!
    2-The writer was probably tripping. Hence, the bad grammar.
    3-It should have been written thusly: This province hath thumbeth its nose at Ottawa.
    (Since when does a province have a nose?)

    Liked by 1 person

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