Tag Archives: grammar

Mistakes Were Made

I’m haunted by that sentence in Lincoln’s second inaugural: “And the war came.” (David Brooks, “The Racial Reckoning Comes,” NYTimes, 6-6-19) David Brooks is well haunted. Lincoln could make words punch above their weight. His mastery lends killing clout to … Continue reading

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“Rived”!

Rived by years of infighting…. (Editorial Board, “An Electoral Brush Fire in Australia,” NYTimes, 5-20-19) Past participles in this opinion piece flutter the heart of a nerdy grammaticist. I rarely read or use the verb “(to) rive,” which I think … Continue reading

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“Lay, Lady, Lay.”

“Lay across my big brass bed.” The Bob Dylan song encapsulates the entrenched American muddle around “lie” and “lay.” The victory of “lay” is all but complete. It’s obvious the song invites the lady to sexual congress, not to a … Continue reading

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