Editing for Grammarphobes: Miscellany


My mind is all over the place today.

Our refrigerator died Saturday, which is quite inconvenient considering I am throwing the Royal Wedding Bunco party on Friday. Thank goodness I did not host Easter dinner this year or you would have heard a blood-curdling scream no matter where you reside on our planet.

The replacement is to be delivered sometime this afternoon. It will be accompanied by a new oven because we wanted to make the switch to stainless-steel appliances. If we did not purchase both at the same time, the kitchen would not match, and one as anal as myself would start to twitch every time I entered. Obviously, that would not do.

So since I lack focus, here are three nonrelated grammar issues, definitely worthy of correction, but with no commonality among them.

Confusing i.e. and e.g.

The first comes from the Latin id est or “that is.” It should be used in place of a phrase like “in other words.”

The abbreviation e.g. means “for example” from the Latin exempli gratia and should be used in expressions similar to “including,” when the writer does not intend to list everything being discussed.


I wish I was attending the great event on Friday, i.e. the Royal Wedding at Westminster Abbey.

Many guests, e.g. Elton John and David Beckham, will witness the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. 


It is just Ukraine, not The Ukraine

“Some countries are preceded by an article, like ‘The United States’ and ‘La France,’ but most are not,” according to Paul Brians, author of Common Errors in English Usage. When the region formerly known as The Ukraine split from the old Soviet Union, Brians reports it dropped the article and is now known simply as Ukraine.


This term comes from formal fencing matches. When someone is hit by an opponent’s sword, the person says “touche´,” which is French for “touched.” It is not a synonym for “gotcha,” according to Brians.

Touche´ may be used when someone skewers you verbally, not when you are the one insulting your opponent.


“Whose are these?” Ursula screamed, holding a size-two g-string panty she could only dream of fitting into. “In our house, no less! You cheating scum. I should have thrown you out months ago, you lazy, do-nothing, worthless piece of filth, feculent maggot.”

“Touche´.” Paul tapped his chest as if wounded, a slight smirk forming upon his lips. “Mea culpa.” 

Hmmmm. Me thinks there could be a writing prompt in that last example. Have fun.

Brians, Paul. Common Errors in English Usage. Retrieved from http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html#errors


Deborah said…
Hi Karen,

Can I add a grammatical mistake that simply drives me crazy??? The technical term is Misplaced Modifier, and I'll you anything we hear a great many of these during all the live Royal Wedding broadcasts because they are endemic among TV presenters.

E.g.(ahem): "Ruined, abandoned and left to rot for a century, I went into this house with some trepidation..."

Well, I'd leave the teachers to rot who never taught grammar to the remarkably healthy-looking and clearly not ruined presenter who came up with that one. They come thick and fast on British TV, and the speakers look so pleased with themselves for using clauses, too!

Crumbs, that was a bit of a rant - but I know you'll understand!
Kelly Hashway said…
I love when you post these! I get really annoyed when I see mistakes like these. Thanks for explaining them so clearly.
Really good ones! The other day, my husband and I created an awesome sentence: I was drinking an expresso while talking about nucular war at the Libary and thought that it was expecially sad.
nibadca said…
In your examples of i.e and e.g you use "I wish I was . . ." I would have used "I wish I were . . . ." I do have trouble with that. Why or can you do both? Thanks
Deborah, you are always welcome to rant here. And thanks for your most excellent example of misplaced modifiers.

Kelly, glad you stopped by and that I can be of assistance.

Elizabeth, it is an awesome sentence. Thanks for reading.

nibadca, thanks for your question. You are correct. I should have used "were" rather than "was" because the verb is subjunctive. Great catch!

This is a good topic. I think I will research more and write about it for Monday's post. Hope you stop by again.
Love this Karen!I'm too lazy sometimes to look things up. I loved your touche example. Mea culpa my foot.
JeanK said…
I actually wasn't correcting you. I am a bit weak there. I tell myself, :"If I were a rich man . . ." www.jckelchner.net
Marina, thanks for stopping by.

Jean: I'm glad you mentioned it. I know my topic for Monday already, which is nothing but a bonus. :)

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