Thursday, February 7, 2019

Grammar Quest #3 - Answers

This post contains the answers to yesterday's post, Grammar Quest #3. If you didn't visit that post yet, you can find it here.

Below is the passage from yesterday with the mistakes marked and explained.



     Charlene took a sip of wine and resisted the urge to throw her glass of cabernet at her cousin's head. Gerald was too calm. He was either very arrogant or very stupid. 
     Gerald glanced around the cafe and leaned toward her. "Don't worry, Char. I have all the CEO's won over except Silverton, and I meet with him tomorrow."
     "*But he's the smartest one. It's going to take more than a smile and some boardroom slight of hand." *More than a few bold-face lies, too. "Regardless of how convincing you are he'll see right through it."
     "Have a little faith."
     "Faith is what got us into this mess."
     "Char, using the church as a client pool is genius. Silverton will wish he would of come up with the idea himself."
     "*If he doesn't steal it."
     "He won’t. You’re such a pessimist." 
     No, I’m an opportunist.
     Charlene sat her glass down and got up to leave. 
     Silverton won’t steal your idea because I’ll beat him to it.

Sentence fragment*

A sentence must contain a subject, a verb, and a complete thought. If any of those is missing, it’s a fragment. There are three sentence fragments in this passage (each marked with an asterisk). Normally, these are considered incorrect in writing, but the rules are different for fiction. If you don’t overuse them, and they don’t stumble the reader, their use is acceptable. Note: the subject can be an understood ‘you,’ as in the imperative sentence Have a little faith.

Improper plural of an abbreviation

CEO’s should be CEOs. Capital letters used as words usually form the plural by adding s (CMoS 16th edition, 7.14, pg. 353). 

Incorrect idiom

Slight of hand should be sleight of hand. Slight means small (adj.) or to insult (v.). Sleight (n.) means use of dexterity or cunning, especially as to deceive.

Incorrect idiom… maybe

Many will tell you that bold-face lie should be bald-face lie. Though lying is bold, bald-faced (adj.) means shameless. Sources vary on which is correct. Best I can tell, the original version was barefaced lie. That evolved to bald-face and later gained the variation of bold-face, which many consider to be an incorrect usage. You’ll have to decide this one for yourself. Note: If you’re referring to bold text, use boldface (no hyphen).

Missing comma

In the sentence Regardless of how convincing you are he'll see right through it, there should be a comma after the word are. You must put a comma after an introductory phrase (CMoS 16th Edition, 6.35 – 6.36, pg. 319). The exception is a phrase of three or fewer words, when leaving the comma out would not create ambiguity.

Usage error

Occasionally people use the preposition of when they should use the verb have. Would of should be would have or would’ve.

Usage error

In the sentence Charlene sat her glass down, the verb sat should be set. Sit and set are similar to lie and lay. You lie down (recline), but to lay something down, you have to have an object in your hand. To sit down, you bend your body so that your buttocks rest on something. To set something down, you have to have an object in your hand.


Here's the corrected version:


     Charlene took a sip of wine and resisted the urge to throw her glass of cabernet at her cousin's head. Gerald was too calm. He was either very arrogant or very stupid.
     Gerald glanced around the cafe and leaned toward her. "Don't worry, Char. I have all the CEOs won over except Silverton, and I meet with him tomorrow."
     "But he's the smartest one. It's going to take more than a smile and some boardroom sleight of hand." More than a few bald-face lies, too. "Regardless of how convincing you are, he'll see right through it."
     "Have a little faith."
     "Faith is what got us into this mess."
     "Char, using the church as a client pool is genius. Silverton will wish he would’ve come up with the idea himself."
     "If he doesn't steal it."
     "He won’t. You’re such a pessimist." 
     No, I’m an opportunist.
     Charlene set her glass down and got up to leave. 
     Silverton won’t steal your idea because I’ll beat him to it.


How'd you do?
Did you catch them all?

16 comments:

  1. I missed one - and ignored the fragments.
    However, one I did catch is Cabernet. I checked online and almost everything I found says it should be capitalized.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I looked that up and found conflicting info, so I left it lowercase. Word didn't flag it as wrong, but Blogger did. LOL

      Delete
  2. I didn't catch bald-faced. And, like Alex, I ignored the fragments because I use them all the time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wouldn't have caught bold instead of bald.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I missed bald-faced too. And like the others, I ignored the fragments for literary reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's okay. Bold is sometimes used, and fragments are common in fiction. I only mentioned them because they are grammatically incorrect in other types of writing.

      Delete
  5. One I wasn't sure you'd count, but I counted anyway was the first paragraph of any scene or chapter doesn't need to be indented ;)

    I also counted more missing oxford commas than you did, but that's kinda questionable depending on certain style sheets.

    I missed bold-faced though, hahahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I kept getting stuck on "Would've" in the 'Silverton will wish' sentence. I get the "of" and "have" difference but thought the sentence should have used "he had come up with" instead. Am I wrong? I think I'm thrown by the tense. Not sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm... You might be right about had. Because it's in dialogue, it can be left as is if that's the way the person talks.

      Can you tell I threw this post together in a hurry? LOL

      Delete
  7. Haha! I'm useless and so missed some of those. Well done you! That stretched me a bit and I even enjoyed the explanations. (I'm not good with manuals :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's an interesting one. I would only have said barefaced - as in barefaced cheek. I learned something here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a correct version - the original, apparently. :)

      Delete
  9. Nice to see an edited version. Thank you for sharing!

    www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also went with the upper case Cabernet. Missed the CEOs. Totally ignored the fragments, especially in dialogue. And I thought the one thought- more than a few lies- should have been italicized. And I totally missed bald-faced. I've always said bold-faced.

    ReplyDelete

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