English: It Ain’t That Hard

Posted on January 29, 2013. Filed under: grammar, Journalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Your words for the day:

  • ain’t = is not; am not; are not; have not; has not (it’s a lot like that Hawaiian word aloha, but a lot more informal — non-snooty if you like)
  • aloha = hello, goodbye, nice to see you, bon voyage, have a good time, long time no see…   you get it
  • wordsmith = somebody who uses words skillfully, such as a professional writer or journalist
  • poetaster = a writer of bad poetry (Not relevent to this article, but it showed up as a synonym of “wordsmith.”  It sounds to me like an antonym, but, either way, I could have used this one in my previous article)

A December 30, 2012, printing (Parade Magazine, a Sunday newspaper insert) had an item that caught my eye…   eyes…   both of my eyes.  The subject was “subject/verb” disagreement…  not the subject of the article…   the subject of what my eyes caught.

The feat of grammatical peaceful coexistence, according to on-line articles posted by some of the Great Learned, hinges upon identifying the subject of the verb.  In keeping with that principle, I will (ala the Great Learned) condescendingly point out selected subject/verb pairs throughout this article, which I have kindly kept short.  (condescending hint:  they will be paired in brackets.  They would be underlined, but this program does not permit underlining.)

Sir Scott (as I am sure [all] of his buds [call] him) was answering the socially burning question (from a faithful reader) of whether [more] than one couple from the Bachelor/Bachelorette* series [have done] the matrimony bit.  The answer, Faithful Reader, is a resounding “YES!”  Sir Scott’s count is that [all] of three (3) [have joined] in wedded bliss.  Here, count ’em:

  1. Ashley and J.P.
  2. Jason and Molly
  3. Trista and Ryan

Hmmmph!  Only needed one hand for that.

In haste, I must point out that Sir [Scott]  [has imparted] much more knowledge about those reality* shows than [I] would ever [have sought] on my own.

Speaking of haste, let me move on to the obligatory finger-pointing.  Responding to the faithful reader’s inquiry.  Sir Scott’s [verbage] [reveals] that [Trista and Ryan] [did indeed tie] the knot, and now…   “the couple live in Colorado.”  (Give him a raspberry.)

Since couple is singular, that should read “the couple lives in Colorado.”

Don’t fret, Scott, you old professional wordsmith, you.  I’m sure you have a fully staffed back-up team of professional proof-readers more than happy to say, “WE goofed!”  One must keep that professional image spotless.


*You know…   those real life courtship dramas in which a stable-full of hopefuls —  under the watchful eyes of dozens of cameras and directors and narrators and make-up specialists — spontaneously generate tears and emotions while navigating a marathon of competitive winner-take-all contests…   interludes…   while navigating a series of “romantic interludes.”

Next up:  2 for 1:  Gerund phrase, if-were tandem, 50-word sentence…   ??…   maybe 3 for 1. 

 And, a split infinitive.  A 4-fer?

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