Friday Follies #202 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Welcome back, FFers! Try to find the flubs in these booby-prize-winning sentences culled from various media. Shame on them!

  1. “This administration has always shown a disdain for any pattern and process around hiring and staffing and I think maybe all of that is coming home to roost right now,” said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution who studies White House turnover patterns.
  2. “Judge Cicconetti hopes that dolling out these creative sentences will spread awareness about animals that are not receiving the proper treatment.”
  3. “In this case they were appraised of the weather just before takeoff.”


The corrections:

  1. The Grammar Cop herself is “showing disdain” here. Aside from the fact that a comma would be greatly appreciated after “staffing” (because who can hold their breath so long without one?) – there is a problem with “who studies.” This follows immediately after the “Brookings Institution,” but an institution is not a person, so we can’t use “who” right after it. (“Who” can refer only to a person.) The writer meant to say that Kathryn Dunn Tenpas studies, not that the Institution studies. (The people at the Institution may well study a lot of stuff, yes, but maybe not specifically “White House turnover patterns,” which is something Kathryn has apparently devoted her life to. 😀) One way to improve this is simply to add a comma after “Institution.” It would then read: …said Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution, who studies White House turnover patterns. It’s not a perfect fix, though. Any other suggestions for sentence repair are welcome!
  2. This sentence had the Grammar Cop imagining all sorts of criminal story-lines featuring Barbie dolls. But then it hit her. (Ouch!) The writer meant doling out, not “dolling out.” Case dismissed!
  3. Here we have a case of wrongworditis™. Did you spot it? What was meant instead? Right – apprised. (Apprised means to inform. Appraise means assess the value of.) A rap on the knuckles to the culpable writer.

Tune in next Friday for visiting hours at Friday Follies, the home of Goofy grammar bloopers and other nonsense. See you!


4 thoughts on “Friday Follies #202 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1-I have complete disdain for a sentence so long that I need a lie-down after reading it. Maybe they should be studying grammar as well.
    2-That was one creative sentence! Throw the grammar book at the writer.
    3-No praise for that writer! 😀 There appears to be a Wrongworditis epidemic.

    Liked by 1 person

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