Tag Archives: redundancies

Got Grammar Pet Peeves? You’re Not Alone

annoyed_grammar_pet_peevesI invited those of you on my email list to share your grammar pet peeves, and the results are in!

First: What is grammar? Grammar encompasses the words we choose and how we punctuate them — how we string them together.

Words give our sentences meaning, and punctuation marks tell us when to pause or stop, when to raise our voice or show emotion, when we’re asking a question versus making a statement.

Here are your pet peeves: ways others speak and write that you find annoying. They’re alphabetized so you can skim and select what interests or resonates with you. I’ve commented here and there and added examples. Continue

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Report Of Alligator In Restaurant Delivers Plan vs. Preplan And Other Grammar Lessons

Alligator photo - alligator in the newsAn astute reader of this blog sent me a link to a report about an alligator named Albert who made a three-hour appearance at a new Midwest restaurant as part of a grand-opening event.

The restaurant owner could be considered short of possessing common sense, not to mention lacking understanding of safety and sanitation codes.

The writer of the article also could be considered short of something — short of possessing what my reader and I consider a mastery of grammar.

Consider this for starters: Continue

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Headlines: The Good, The Bad, And The Lessons They Offer

Headline errors provide grammar lessonsHeadlines, along with photos or graphics, catch your attention and draw you into a story.

An error in a headline is much more apt to be seen than an error within the story. I’ve always considered a headline error and a misspelled name the two most egregious mistakes a writer/editor can make — and this Ruthless Editor has made her share.

But errors provide grammar lessons, so when I read something that hits me wrong, I stop to copy/paste it into a Word document for future blog material.

Headlines that avoid common errors also catch my attention. Here’s my latest batch from online news and blogs: Continue

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Political Punditry Plagued With Redundancies

Redundant langauge at press conferencesUnscripted conversations rarely come off as smoothly or as grammatically correct as do planned remarks.

But those who make their living as political pundits, journalists or candidate representatives should have a pretty good handle on language and how they phrase their comments.

So why are we tuning in to the political commentary of the day and hearing a bounty of redundancies flying over the airwaves? Continue

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Reader Irritated by Redundant Weather-Forecast Terms

Weather icon - A look at redundancies in the weather forecast“It drives me nuts when my local weather forecasters use ‘evening hours’ to describe the weather in the evening,” a reader complains.

“They also say ‘morning hours,’ ‘afternoon hours’ and ‘overnight hours.’ Wouldn’t it be sufficient to simply use morning, afternoon, evening and overnight?”

Because of my ruthless editor’s acute sensitivity to redundancies, my first inclination was to agree. Then I started to pay attention to my local weather reports, and I noticed the same tendency to add “hours” to a time of day or time span.

Is this what meteorologists learn when they train to be television weather forecasters? I wondered.  Continue

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9 Flawed Headlines And How To Make Them Better

Man being threatened by big-footMy list of flawed headlines again has grown. From word misuse such as squash vs. quash and cement vs. concrete; to mismatching a noun, verb and pronoun; to the redundancy lagging behind, this ruthless editor finds multiple grammar lessons.

Today’s rapid news cycle likely is somewhat to blame. “Haste makes waste,” anyone?

Some examples deal with politically charged topics. Please know that they are selected wholly on the basis of form, not content. Continue

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Redundancies Run Rampant In Political Campaigns

There are a lot of redundancies to be found during election campaignsDo you sense that presidential campaigns bring out anything but the best in language use?

I realize spontaneous comments can end up sounding less than perfect, but I’ve been tracking candidates and commentators, and in my usual ruthless editor style, I feel another redundancy rant coming on.

Here’s a guideline I use when deciding if a word is redundant: If you swapped the suspected redundant word for its opposite, would the statement make sense?


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