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Grammar for journalists A quick and dirty guide to a writer’s most common problems.

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Presentation on theme: "Grammar for journalists A quick and dirty guide to a writer’s most common problems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grammar for journalists A quick and dirty guide to a writer’s most common problems

2 What’s wrong? The Peabody School Committee decided last night that they would hire a new superintendent by Nov. 12.

3 Singular/plural agreement The Peabody School Committee decided last night that they would hire a new superintendent by Nov. 12. The Peabody School Committee decided last night that it would hire a new superintendent by Nov. 12.

4 What’s wrong? The Winchester Board of Selectmen will hold their annual retreat this coming weekend.

5 Watch your antecedents The Winchester Board of Selectmen will hold their annual retreat this coming weekend. The Winchester Board of Selectmen will hold its annual retreat this coming weekend.

6 What’s wrong? The first team which crosses the finish line will be rewarded with free ice cream.

7 Essential/nonessential The first team which crosses the finish line will be rewarded with free ice cream. The first team that crosses the finish line will be rewarded with free ice cream.

8 What’s wrong? Thomas R. Smith and his wife Bertha Gilooley appeared in court on a charge of disturbing the peace.

9 Essential/nonessential Thomas R. Smith and his wife Bertha Gilooley appeared in court on a charge of disturbing the peace. Thomas R. Smith and his wife, Bertha Gilooley, appeared in court on a charge of disturbing the peace.

10 What’s wrong? The ball which rolled across the street ended up on a neighbor’s lawn.

11 Ambiguous The ball which rolled across the street ended up on a neighbor’s lawn. The ball, which rolled across the street, ended up on a neighbor’s lawn. The ball that rolled across the street ended up on a neighbor’s lawn.

12 What’s wrong? The runs were scored by the Red Sox in the top of the seventh inning.

13 Passive voice The runs were scored by the Red Sox in the top of the seventh inning. The Red Sox scored the runs in the top of the seventh inning.

14 What’s wrong The choir will perform it’s encore, a Gershwin medley, after a brief intermission.

15 Dave Barry Rule of Apostrophes The choir will perform it’s encore, a Gershwin medley, after a brief intermission. The choir will perform its encore, a Gershwin medley, after a brief intermission.

16 What’s wrong? A quiet, unassuming album on the surface, Bob Dylan reveals his true intent in “Modern Times” only after several listens.

17 Dangling modifier A quiet, unassuming album on the surface, Bob Dylan reveals his true intent in “Modern Times” only after several listens. A quiet, unassuming album on the surface, “Modern Times” reveals Bob Dylan’s true intent only after several listens.

18 What’s wrong? The company said yesterday that it would soon unveil a new line of products.

19 Personification The company said yesterday that it would soon unveil a new line of products. A spokesman said yesterday that the company would soon unveil a new line of products.

20 What’s wrong? The political figure to who the threat was delivered quickly fled the country.

21 Subject/object The political figure to who the threat was delivered quickly fled the country. The political figure to whom the threat was delivered quickly fled the country.


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