Friday Follies #197 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Once again, FFers, the Grammar Cop has spent the past week scouring the internet for the most egregious, discombobulating loony language lapses, and here they are, along with elegant corrections.

  1. “Despite spending thousands on medical bills, the dog died two days later.”
  2. “…there’s a dirth of qualified local candidates…”
  3. “These posts no longer appear on Guillet’s social media.”


And the corrections:

  1. The dog, incredibly, must’ve saved its money for many years in order to have amassed “thousands.” And then to die anyway… no less than two days later… ah, such a shame! But seriously, what we have here, ladies and gerbils, is a dangling participle. It’s called that because here, it looks as though it was the dog who spent thousands, which certainly isn’t right… unless dogs now have bank accounts, a notion of which the Grammar Cop wasn’t aware. No, a fix could have been: Despite its owner spending (or having spent) thousands on medical bills, the dog died two days later. Or more correctly, the dog had the audacity to die two days later. Because I mean, really, the nerve! 😃
  2. There is no such word as “dirth.” It’s spelled dearth, meaning lack. The writer probably confused it with dirge, which means a slow, mournful musical composition. But do the “local candidates” mentioned play musical instruments? Hmm…
  3. Now, you’re probably thinking, if you’re a Friday Follies regular visitor, that the mistake involves the plural, “media” – you think perhaps it should be the singular medium instead. You think this because it’s been repeated here soooo many times. But – surprise! – no, that’s not the boo-boo. The problem is that many people refer to various social media inaccurately. They’ll say, for example, Mary hasn’t been on her Facebook for three days. Allan was on his Twitter yesterday. Sarah closed her Pinterest. Do you see what is the common error? Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest do not belong to these people! They may have accounts with them, and have pages visible on these media, but they don’t own the entire Facebook, Twitter, etc. The correction to #3 above is These posts no longer appear on Guillet’s social-media pages (or accounts). (Note the requisite hyphen between social and media, since they form a compound adjective.)

The Grammar Cop will close her WordPress now. 😃 Thank you, that is all. See you next week, friends!


4 thoughts on “Friday Follies #197 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

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