Blog Category: Grammar

And there are myths

Recently I received a WhatsApp message, a picture message with Vivekananda, the great saint in his arms-crossed pose. Unusually, this time it was about English grammar. I was rather surprised. Many of his quotations are on meditation, Hinduism, devotion, and the like....

Mr Venn, tell me more

The last post explained how restrictive (or defining) relative clauses create a proper subset of a set. In other words, these clauses classify the noun into two: one that is governed by the relative clause definition; the other that is not. But an important...

Mr Venn, will you help us learn some English?

All right, now I got your question – rather, questions. Who's Mr Venn? Why would he come to teach English? What is he teaching now? Before you inundate me with all those questions, let me tell you about him. John Venn, FRS, FSA (4 August 1834 – 4 April 1923) was an...

Adjectives: Beware of suffixes -ical and -ic

One of the ways to form an adjective is to add the suffix ~ic or ~ical. There is no clear rule about when to use which. As a rule of thumb, many of the older nouns have the ~ical adjective, while most of the newer ones have ~ic suffix. The suffix ~ic or ~ical means...

Is this good?

Teacher: Children, what do you observe from the picture? Students: Two kids, Teacher. One with a gadget, one with a bird. Teacher: Good. What do you see below? Student: As is the custom in FB, any picture that is shared should accompany a moral. This picture also no...

Today’s crash blossoms

Today's crash blossoms is from The Hindu.TV shows jailed IPS officer visiting homeYou might be tempted to believe that an IPS officer was jailed by a TV show. Our mind parses "TV shows" together as the subject of the sentence and the verb as "jailed". This is because...

“Such as” parenthetical phrases

Commas are most probably the tiniest creature that can cause heartbreaks to any copy editor. The simple reason is that they are not solely governed by rules. Arguably, using commas have as many exceptions as there are rules. Consider such as for example. The such as...

Does ET have a copydesk?

Sorry to be blunt, but that was the first question that came to my mind after reading this article in the Economic Times yesterday. I'm complaining not about the use - rather the misuse - of commas in the text, nor about the sloppy writing. I'm startled by the obvious...

Humorous CMS

After a hiatus, this post could be a good one to resume blogging. I was reading the Chicago Style Q&A and liked two questions in this issue. The first one: Q. Should she or it be used as a pronoun for a country? A. Never use she to refer to a country. You’ll sound...

each of them vs they each

Here is another trivia. The indefinite pronoun "each" is singular. It takes a singular verb. Each creation is different. Note that "each" comes before a singular noun and takes a singular verb. If "each" is followed by an "of" phrase, still it takes a singular verb....

well, is that good?

In a recent interview aired on channel Star Vijay, Gopinath interviewed a Tamil actor. The actor was recalling how he felt it difficult to perform certain dance movements. When Gopinath asked the actor how one of his co-actors dances, he said, "He is a good dancer;...

ambiguous pronouns

The draft version of the first sentence of my first blog post ((faulty) parallelism) read thus: As part of rebuilding this blog (I started this way back in 2008, with nothing being posted till now), I was skimming through various WordPress pages. When I read the entry...

(faulty) parallelism

As part of rebuilding this blog (I started this blog way back in 2008, with nothing being posted till now), I was skimming through various WordPress pages. In the About page, I saw this sentence: It also means you are free to use it [WordPress] for anything from your...

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