In honor of National Grammar Day, I posted an entry on Wednesday with eight subtle or not-so-subtle errors of grammar or prose. A few of you wrote in to suggest a handful of other errors that you THOUGHT you noticed. Harumph…
The Original Post:
Several of my readers have brought to my attention the significance of this day—March 4.
National Grammar Day
On this day, we all should resolve to try his or her best, myself included, to bring the penultimate, the highest, experience to the written and spoken word. For at least one day, gone should be the cute abbreviations that foreshadow text messages and the feckless disregard for proper capitalization.
For 24 hours, lets try to make every sentence count, every one of our words carry their proper meanings, and our intonations and inflections reflect our genuine intentions.
And the errors:
1. “…the significance of this day—March 4.”
Use of a dash is not correct here. A color or a comma would be better.
2 and 3. “On this day, we all should resolve to try his or her best, myself included”
“we” requires “our” best, or “each of us” goes with his or her.
Incorrect use of myself.
4. to bring the penultimate, the highest, experience to the written and spoken word
Penultimate means second from ultimate. Contradicts use of “highest”
5. “gone should be the cute abbreviations that foreshadow text messages”
Incorrect use of foreshadow.
6. “feckless disregard for proper capitalization.”
Incorrect use of feckless. Intended word here is reckless. (We suppose you could have feckless disregard for something, but we don’t recommend it.)
7. “every one of our words carry their proper meanings, ”
should be “carry its proper”
8. “For 24 hours, lets try to make every…”
“lets” missing its apostrophe
Friend and colleague Byron Canfield wrote in to suggest a ninth: “disregard for” should be “disregard of”. Hmm, what do you think, can one not have a regard or disregard for something? Or must it only be of something? He also cited me for using “we all”—I resent that only southerners can use that form of plural!
Rick, you’re still wrong on #7. Every ONE of our words CARRIES its proper MEANING. Since “one” is singular, “carries” must also be singular, as must “meaning”.
Ooh, good catch!
we” requires “out” best?
Bob and Rick..I think “every one” is plural because the emphasis is not “one but “every”. It would be the same as “all” of our words. If you say “one” or “each one” of our words then singular would be correct.
Disregard my erroneous comment. It just doesn’t sound right as singular but it is correct. The old Beatles song says it well. We all live in a yellow submarine. Every one of us HAS all we need. Of course the Beatles may not be the grammar experts but I checked it out.