Welcome to your GrammarBook.com e-newsletter.
“Your online grammar quizzes are amazing for people who need a refresher on grammar and punctuation rules.”
“The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is a great reference.”
“Thank you so much for all the wonderful work, thought, and planning that has gone into your incredible website GrammarBook.com.”
Here is another batch of bloopers from dailies and periodicals.
• “Canada is sending between 50 to 100 military advisers.” Can anyone explain the presence of “between” in that sentence?
• “He showed a much improved grasp of the English language than a year ago.” Someone who writes “much improved than a year
ago” should concentrate on his own grasp.
• “It was as bad, if not worse, than expected.” Without the nonessential phrase “if not worse” we are left with “It was
as bad than expected.” Here is the grammatical version of the sentence: “It was as bad as, if not worse than,
expected.” That may be correct, but it’s no prize package. How about “It was as bad as expected, if not worse.”
• “Roast lamb and venison comprise the meat course.” Writers love to use comprise, but they keep getting it wrong. The word
means “to consist of.” Do roast lamb and venison consist of the meat course? No, the meat course comprises roast lamb and venison. (Note: comprised of is always incorrect.)
• “The goal is to showcase the oddly gentle enormity of this 46-foot-high room.” This strange sentence becomes bizarre when one realizes
that enormity means “great wickedness.” Better make it “immensity” or “vastness.”
• “South Koreans eat more instant noodles per capita than anyone in the world.” The sentence, taken literally, means that South Koreans
and “anyone in the world” are two separate groups. One key word solves the problem: “South Koreans eat more instant noodles per capita
than anyone else in the world.”
• Let’s close with two examples of the havoc caused by losing track of your subject …
“The first thing Ryan saw were her knees.” How’s that again? The first thing were? If the subject is singular, the verb must be
singular: The first thing he saw was her knees. If the writer doesn’t like how that looks and sounds, how about “The first things Ryan saw were her knees.”
“Reading ‘thought pieces’ on our mobile devices are making us shallow.” Reading are making us shallow? The writer got
distracted by “devices” and forgot that the subject, “Reading,” is singular.
That’s all for now. We’d love to retire Media Watch, but we can’t until the happy day that all writers proof their articles and avoid
fancy words that they may have forgotten to look up.
Because of the e-newsletter’s large readership, please submit your English usage questions through GrammarBook.com’s “Grammar Blog.”
The following are sentences recently heard over the airwaves. See if you can spot the errors. Our solutions are below.
1. “We’re in unchartered waters here.”
2. “It’s 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning.”
3. “Many Americans despise we in the media.”
4. “The likelihood of outbreaks are very low.”
5. “There was twelve men and one women in the room.”
Free BONUS Quiz for You!
[[firstname]], because you are a subscriber to the newsletter, you get access to one of the Subscription Members-Only Quizzes. Click here to take a Subject and Verb Agreement Quiz and get your scores and explanations instantly!
Good News for Quiz Subscribers
First, we are excited to inform our instructor-level quiz subscribers of several significant improvements to your subscription at no added cost to you:
Second, after logging on, all quiz subscribers may now enjoy GrammarBook.com free of advertisements (excluding the Grammar Blog).
- You may opt out of receiving e-mails when students complete quizzes.
- You may now assign multiple quizzes at a time.
- You may now assign a starting date and ending date when quizzes will be available to students.
- You can now download a spreadsheet containing the results of all quizzes taken by each student.
“So convenient … hundreds of quizzes in one click.”
[[firstname]], Subscribe to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!
- Take the quizzes online or download and copy them.
- Get scored instantly.
- Find explanations for every quiz answer.
- Reproduce the quizzes to your heart’s content.
- EASY to use.
- No software to download.
- No setup time.
- A real person to help you if you have any questions!
“Fun to test my skills!”
“The explanations really help … thanks!”
Your choice: Subscribe at the $29.95 or $99.95 level ($30 off - regularly $129.95).
“I download the quizzes for my students who don’t have computer access.”
Subscribe today to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!
“Makes learning English FUN!”
Don’t need all the quizzes at once?
You can now purchase the same quizzes individually for ONLY 99¢ each. Purchase yours here.
Get Yours Today!
Get Amazon’s No. 1 Best-seller in Four Categories!
No. 1 in Grammar
No. 1 in Reading
No. 1 in Lesson Planning
No. 1 in Vocabulary
The Blue Book of Grammar
by Jane Straus, Lester Kaufman, and Tom Stern
The Authority on English Grammar!
Eleventh Edition Now Available
Have You Ordered Your Copy Yet?
An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, homeschool families, editors, writers, and proofreaders.
Available in print AND as an e-Book! Over 2,000 copies are purchased every month!
Order Your Copy Today!
- Hundreds of Grammar, Punctuation, Capitalization, and Usage Rules
- Real-World Examples
- Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
- Quizzes with Answers
The publisher is extending its pre-publication discount offer until December 31, 2014! If you live in the United States or Canada, order the new edition of The Blue Book
through Wiley.com and get 30 percent off and FREE shipping. Simply go to bit.ly/1996hkA and use discount code E9X4AYY.
For those of you who live outside the U.S. and Canada, although the publisher is not able to offer free shipping, you will get 35 percent off to help offset your shipping costs. Simply go to bit.ly/1996hkA and use discount code E9X4A.
Words change meaning over time in ways that might surprise you. We sometimes notice words changing meaning under our noses, and it can be disconcerting. How in the world are we all going to communicate effectively if we allow words to shift in meaning like that?
This week, courtesy of language historian Anne Curzan, we continue our run of a small sampling of words that you may not have realized did not always mean what they mean today.
1. Quell: Quelling something or someone used to mean killing it, not just subduing it.
2. Divest: 300 years ago, divesting could involve undressing as well as depriving others of their rights or possessions. It has only recently come to refer to selling off investments.
3. Senile: Senile used to refer simply to anything related to old age, so you could have senile maturity. Now it refers specifically to those suffering from senile dementia.
4. Meat: Have you ever wondered about the expression “meat and drink”? It comes from an older meaning of the word meat that refers to food in
general—solid food of a variety of kinds (not just animal flesh), as opposed to drink.
Pop Quiz Answers
1. “We’re in uncharted waters here.”
2. “It’s 3 o’clock on a Sunday morning.” (Writing “a.m.” would be redundant)
3. “Many Americans despise us in the media.”
4. “The likelihood of outbreaks is very low.”
5. “There were twelve men and one woman in the room.” (Did you spot both mistakes?)
Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.