Friday Follies #254 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

Heeey, FFers! Welcome to the first 2021 lineup of bloopers presented by your ever-vigilant Grammar Cop! 😁

  1. Cases continue to rise in Canada, which begun inoculations with the Pfizer vaccine earlier in the week.
  2. Rural America has always been insulated to some degree to the problems that plague more urban areas.
  3.  It is a proposed law of general application and effects all equally.


And the corrections:

  1. The only time we use the form “begun” is together with “have” or “has” or “had,” as in: I have begun to type. She has begun to type. He had begun to type, at the time. In all other instances, we use the simple began: Canada began inoculations earlier in the week.
  2. We cannot be insulated “to” something. Instead, we are insulated from something. They are insulated from big-city problems. At home we’re insulated from the cold. (It’s as though you’re saying protected from something. You’d never say “protected to” something.)
  3. Ah, yes. People, this is the old affect/effect confusion, rearing its ugly head again. Nine times out of ten,* when you are using the verb, it’s affect. For the noun, it’s effect. So: It affects all equally; it has the same effect on everyone.

*Nooo! Don’t read this! It’ll only confuuuuse you! Oh okay, if you insist! 😀 The exceptions to the affect/effect rules cited above are: When referring to emotions, we say affect: His affect was flat; he showed no emotion. It’s a term often used in psychology and psychiatry circles. On the other hand, the word effect can be a verb when it’s used with the noun change, as in: To effect change, you have to start from the top down.

English is SO weird. It’s amazing how English-as-a-second-language students can learn it! The grammar! The idioms! The exceptions – mainly due to the mish-mash of words borrowed from other languages…

Welcome to the Grammar Cop’s world. She will try to keep you on track. Questions? Comments? Please feel free to use the space below!


7 thoughts on “Friday Follies #254 – Making Grammar Great Again, One Hyphen at a Time

  1. 1-Maybe they should begin the beguine.
    2-Clearly not insulated from bad grammar.
    3-Using the wrong word affects all equally; it has the same effect on everyone. They all ran from the room screaming. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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