Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grammar Geek: Quiz #1

For those of you who may not be aware, I love English. Not the language necessarily, but the subject. You know, the stuff you'd learn about in an English class...reading, writing, and especially grammar. I could study it for hours (in any language)! One night Lee and I were doing our Spanish study together and he pulled out a grammar book from a class he had after his mission. I was pretty tired to begin with, but the new information on Spanish grammar and diagramming quickly woke me up and I got really into it. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect on Lee and he tired of it far too quickly. I kept reading it while he went to his wake-up help (and my sleep inducer): the computer.

I'm not sure why the study of rules intrigues me so much. Growing up in my house with an English teacher for a mother where you'd be interrupted in the middle of a story with grammar corrections, you'd think I'd detest the subject. On the contrary, it seemed to engender a love for perfection in speech. I'm not sure to what use this knowledge can be put, other than ensuring a little less panic during high-stress tests like the ACT, which are no longer a threat in my life. Lee once sent a link to a humorous article that pretty much described me. (If you follow the link, do not read the comments attached to this article). Here is an excerpt:

Another important thing to know is that when white people read magazines and books they are always looking for grammar and spelling mistakes. In fact, one of the greatest joys a white person can experience is to catch a grammar mistake in a major publication. Finding one allows a white person to believe that they are better than the writer and the publication since they would have caught the mistake. The more respected the publication, the greater the thrill. If a white person were to catch a mistake in The New Yorker, it would be a sufficient reason for a large party.

This is totally me! Finding mistakes in published stuff is guaranteed to make my day. In fact, I found one today. Unfortunately, it wasn't The New Yorker, so there will be no party. Nevertheless, I'm curious who else can see the error. Here's the sentence:
"That is one of the many qualities that make him the man we love to celebrate."
Let's see if anyone else out there agrees with me. Take a chance and tell me what you think is wrong and I'll follow-up shortly with what I believe the error to be.

(Disclaimer: Due to the content of this posting, the author of this blog denies any grammatical errors heretofore and hereafter published and assures the reader they are all typos).

10 comments:

Sadie said...

You've got me on this one, I'm not confident enough in English to even take a stab at it. I'll be sure to take extra care when I write emails to you. :)

Dad of the Year said...

Clearly the "him" should be a "he"

Dad of the Year said...

Also, glad to hear you're white.

Coach Ann said...

...one of the many qualities that make...
The word make should be makes.
The agreement should be with one, not qualities. The phrase "many qualities" is modifying one and the verb agreement is with the word "one" also.

Let's PARTY

Officer Leeroy said...

Ha! I figured it out, without looking at your mom's comment. Make should be makes. If I couldn't find it I would have written the exact same thing as Ryan.

Officer Leeroy said...

fyi, you can hide comments until a certain point if you don't want people to cheat (I just found this out yesterday).

Aimee said...

I couldn't find it.

Charis said...

I am with sadie, I don't know, but I also don't care, so I won't stay up nights woring about it, and I also will not stay up nights worring if you are shaking your head at all of my misspellings and lack of commas ect. I know you love me despite the fact that I type just like I talk, completely uneducated like.

Charis said...

dangit I forgot to push spell check on that last comment ;)

Jennie said...

It appears that make should be makes . . . not that I can state a rule of why, but because it simply sounds right. Growing up in the same house with the same English teaching mother taught me what is correct, but I still have no idea why! It took me until 8th grade Spanish to learn what a pronoun is . . . but I was able to pick all the right answers on the ACT! I simply cannot hear/see a grammar/spelling error and not catch it, though I'm not sure I get that weird satisfaction out of it . . . and by the way there are several errors in the book I got you for your birthday. The good news is it looks like instead of annoying you, it will give you satisfaction to catch them all! PS thanks for waiting over a month to post the answer so I had a chance to comment:)