Great Grammar Site


Based on the hours I work, and the time chosen to “pen” my articles (along with the subject matter & amount of effort put in), I’ve found that my grammar skills can resemble a schizophrenic maniac. I’ll write in first-person one day, objective and factual the next, and completely lazy bullet-point summaries another day. Quite a number of the posts on Hoboken411 contain blatant errors. My father often points them out, but he doesn’t realize the little time I have to invest in proof-reading. Oh well.

I actually enjoy the linguistic freedom most of the time, but occasionally cringe after reading what I’ve actually published!

Regardless, I stumbled across this informative site called “Everything Language and Grammar” the other day. The article that caused me to stumble upon their site was about election polls:

“If the election were held today…”

“Every time that I hear a reporter or guest on a “news” program talk about the upcoming election in terms of “If the election were held today, then…,” I want to finish the statement with “not very many people would vote since they’re expecting the election to be held in November as scheduled.”

Reporters obviously don’t mean that the election date might change; what they intend is more like “If the latest poll numbers remain the same, then such and such will happen in November.”

I would prefer that they say it that way, of course, especially since I heard it several times in one evening of news coverage last week, but my overall preference would be that they not focus so much attention on the election. We don’t need a daily electoral vote count estimate; it’s not something that changes from day to day or week to week. It’s a one-time event that won’t take place until November. It’s not like a on-going event, such as a pennant race in baseball that requires a daily update.

I have a better idea: Instead of focusing on projected or estimated vote counts for months from now, focus on how the Senators Obama and McCain differ on issues so that those people who aren’t voting today will be better informed in November when it is time to vote.”

And another entry more recently:

Let Us Unite – Together, That Is

“I recently heard a political consultant discuss how important it was for the Democratic Party to unite together. I must admit that I was shocked—oh, no, not at his suggestion of togetherness or his fervor in endorsing unity; rather, I was shocked at his grammar.

Is there any way to unite other than to unite together? Is it possible to unite apart? How about uniting separately? Any chance that we can unite and go our separate ways?

To unite means to put together, join, or bring together in some way. The “together” part is already built into the meaning, so there’s no need (read it’s wrong!) to add it.

Of course, if the political pundits on every news show on television have their way, this won’t necessarily apply to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Logically, we know that Clinton and Obama have to either unite or go their separate ways, and with the Democratic Convention going on this week, they will definitely unite; there’s no doubt about that. The pundits, however, are obviously hoping for the grammatically impossible uniting separately, which, of course, would make for much more interesting, yet totally irrelevant, banter.”

It’s an easy site to read, and might actually inform you of something new from time to time. Add it to your blog reader to waste yet even more time each day!

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