GDG- Is we is or is we ain't a Union?
mayapple at embarqmail.com
Sun Jan 22 20:17:08 CST 2012
And as a professional proofreader (for the Gettysburg Times) let me agree
wholeheartedly. We had two reporters who thought the past tense of "drag"
is "drug." They've been replaced by a recent grad who doesn't know "it's"
from "its." I had to explain cavalry vs. Calvary to her as a requirement
for being in G'burg.
----- Original Message -----
From: <joadx1 at netscape.net>
To: <gettysburg at arthes.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2012 12:40 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Is we is or is we ain't a Union?
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> And as a veteran university professor, I can say that the situation is
> hopeless. Consider the question of noun-pronoun agreement. Everyone in
> this country now simply uses the plural pronoun "they" for all purposes,
> as in "when someone goes to the store, they buy milk." I grant that there
> is some wiggle room in grammatical convention, but sometimes you get
> ludicrous statements like "when Sally went to the store, they bought
> milk." I know where this comes from: a desire to avoid gender-weighted
> pronouns (traditionally, the masculine personal pronoun was used for all
> indefinite singular purposes), but I ask my students to try to avoid
> glaring mismatches. I also try to explain the difference between "it's"
> and "its," and "there," "they're," and "their," to little avail. Now I
> see "where" being used when the writer means "were," even among
> professional journalists. Such is the effect of a spell checker that
> cannot discern context.
> When I get my first "+1" in an essay when the writer means "I agree," it
> may be time to retire.
> Not really. There are worse things in the world to contend with (or
> should I say, "with which to contend").
> >As a veteran newspaper editor, let me digitally applaud
> yourgrammatical abilities. One of the constants I have had to correct
> withreporters --- especially newly minted ones from the nation's
> grandestuniversities --- is that there exists this wonderful part of the
> Englishlanguage called the collective singular and, thus, it takes a
> singularverb. Your use of "team" is a fine example, indeed. Other
> collectivesingulars like city council, the Congress and, of course, the
> United Statesof America, take singular verbs such as "is," "did" or "has"
> instead of"are," "does" or "have." As I like to tell my youthful
> journalisticcharges, "We are all Americans but American is one nation."
> And Mr. Foote was, indeed, most correct in his use of verbs.
> With regards, Chet<
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