Tag Archives: grammar

Cutting Slack

Rather than fostering some new sense of civic unity, the virus is just as likely to worsen inequality further [my bolding]. (Farhad Manjoo, “San Francisco Beat the Virus. But It’s Still Breaking My Heart,” NYTimes, 5-13-20) Calling out infelicities of … Continue reading

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“Forebode”? Verboten!

But some religious authorities, too, have acted with anti-adaptive zeal. In my own Catholicism, the diocese of Raleigh, N.C., didn’t just cancel Masses and close churches; it forebode [my bolding] its priests to attempt experiments like drive-through confessions that might … Continue reading

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Knotty, Naughty “Not”

Americans need leaders who rise to the occasion, not [my bolding] worry about their own pocketbooks. (The Editorial Board, “Did Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler Profit From the Pandemic?” NYTimes, 3-20-20) I haven’t read this particular article, but my reflexive … Continue reading

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Latinx Redux

Dr. García Peña has been involved in… the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures’ program in Latinx studies [my bolding]. (Latinx is a gender-neutral term for people of Latin American heritage, used commonly in academia.) (Kate Taylor, “Denying a Professor … Continue reading

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Tenseness Sought in Firm Times

But the president can still be reasonably held responsible for the urgency with which [etc.]… the speed at which [etc.]… the pressure brought to bear [etc.]… and the use of presidential rhetoric [etc.]…. Is it still necessary to point out … Continue reading

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Such Ado About Something

Two bits in this opinion piece by Shmuel Rosner have an off ring, one solecistic, the other non-colloquial. But most Israeli voters would support such move. Most of them voted for parties that support such move. “Such” here is an … Continue reading

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Queen’s English Profaned?

“Voters of color will decide if Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden prevail.” (Headline to an article by Steve Phillips at theguardian.com, 3-1-20) There’s only the slightest chance that it should not be “prevails” instead of “prevail,” since the conjunction is … Continue reading

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The Guardian on Relationships

“How to tell your best friend you’re in love with them — by those who have taken the plunge” (Sirin Kale, The Guardian, 7-1-19) In days of yore this headline would not invite the interpretation that you love your best … Continue reading

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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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