AJ (ajbunk) wrote in codex_sketchpad,
AJ
ajbunk
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Grammar and an Error

Beginning a new set of posts...

1.
For some reason, I find a need to constantly review my grammar. Partly because I always learn something new, but also because I forget a lot of things. So I will be updating the community with some of these items periodically. Now, I realize that just reading about grammar may send you into apoplexy, that's why I'm going to add a a little flare to at least (hopefully) make the posts entertaining. (I make grammar fun!) To start off, a legal thing.

I am taking a lot of this information from:
Fowler, H. Ramsey, and Aaron, Jane E. The Little, Brown Handbook. 8th ed. New York: Addison-Wesley EP, 2001.

As I take things from other sources, I will be sure to list those too. For now, I'm going to stick with one book, and I like that book.

So the lesson for today will go over subject and verb agreement. Damn those verbs and their inability to get along with subjects. I remember several years ago when they formed an alliance with objects to start the Third Vernacular War...

(I know, basic stuff you all know, but we have to start somewhere. Besides, we need to review periodically to keep our skills sharp!) So here it is. (Puts his teaching hat on.)

The -s and -es endings work differently for nouns and verbs.
Now this one is easy. An -s or -es on the end of noun makes it plural. On the end of a verb, it makes it singular. A singular verb is needed to pair up with a singualr noun. A plural verb pairs with a plural verb. For example:

Singular:
The computer crashes.
The hard drive formats without permission.

Plural:
The users attempt to stop it.
The users commit seppuku in shame.

Now there is always an exception. What would the English language be without exceptions? Oh, that's right: simple. Of course it's because that it isn't simple that language can be fun and exciting. That is why I like to call these exceptions, “Flavorful bits of juicy goodness!” Others may simply call them irregularities. Which makes me think of problems with the digestive tract. Possibly from ingesting too many “Flavorful bits of juicy goodness!” at a time.

So here is the exception with irregular plurals. When using words such women and children, which are plurals that do not end with an -s or -es. In other words:

The children play. Not! The children plays.
...
(shudder)
...
...
Back demon!
...
The children plays
...

Sorry, it bugs me that someone might consider doing that.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that the verb be is one of those flavorful bits of juicy goodness. It is conjugated into the singular present tense as is. The singular plural as are. Past singular = was. Past plural = were.

Examples:
The LJ user is psychotic.
LJ communities are freaky.
I was insane.
We are better now.

Okay, that about sums it up for part one. Join us later for part two, “Subject-Verb Agreement 2: Electric Boogaloo!”

Warning: consult your area grammarian for further usage. Keep in mind your local dialect's acceptance of said grammar. Be sure to point and laugh at those who are stupid.



2.
Okay, one of the things I'm going to do is go through one item on this website a day. (Common Errors in English) Perhaps you use the indicated error in your everyday life, or perhaps not. The point is to look at them, realize the error and make sure that you don't do so in the future.

So the first on the list, A.D.

Now personally, I've known about this since a teacher essentially got pissed off and corrected a parent that was visiting my third grade class. (Thinking back to the experience, it was a lot of fun to watch. I can only wish I could have appreciated it more at the moment.) As far as the B.C.E. and C.E. system, I've known about them for a few years and use them to some extent, but due to how little people recognize the two, it tends to be rare. For instance when I would speak with one of my old roommates, who was an anthropologist, I would use B.C.E. and C.E. to indicate years. With my cousin, who has never heard of the system, I wouldn't.
Tags: grammar and errors
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