THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE POLICE

Correcting people is fraught with lots of danger. Depending on how you go about the correction, the iteration you are trying to correct, people could get defensive, and not take the correction in good faith.

However, given the right personality committed to continuous improvement, the right environment, and by first being in the habit of admitting your own error swiftly when necessary, you can do this in comparative safety.

I belong to a Whatsapp Group where we discuss everything under the Sun.

As a means of honing our grammatical skills, we often correct our English grammar, often with acerbic brutality and abrasiveness, with some instances degenerating into friendly verbal bloodbaths. The interesting scenario is where the supposed “student” turns out to be more knowledgeable than the supposed “teacher”!

Talk about rotten eggs on a face!

At the end of the day, we learn a thing or two.

From time to time, I would be highlighting some grammatical faux pas, as well as the corrected version.

Many of the errors people make are errors of miss substitution like using their when there is the correct word, or using been when being is the apposite word.

Often such misuse is the result of inattention, but sometimes the result of ignorance of the correct usage.

Here goes…

Which one do you think deserves SCRAPING great Egyptian priest

This person meant to say, SCRAPPING

Scrap…..scrapping
Scrape…scraping

Just like you have:

rap…..rapping
rape…raping

This could of course could have been chalked down to autocorrect, but subsequent comments by the writer of the above showed he didn’t know the difference between scrap and scrape and their derivatives (scraping, scrapping).

scrap

\ˈskrap\

noun

Usage: often attributive

1 plural : fragments of discarded or leftover food
2 a : a small detached piece 
b : a fragment of something written, printed, or spoken
c : the least bit 3 plural : cracklings4 a : fragments of stock removed in manufacturing
b : manufactured articles or parts rejected or discarded and useful only as material for reprocessing;especially : waste and discarded metal

scrape

\ˈskrāp\verb
to damage (the surface of something) or hurt (a part of your body) by rubbing something rough or sharp against it or by making it rub against something rough or sharp: to rub or cause (something) to rub against a hard surface and make a harsh and usually unpleasant sound: to remove (something) from a surface by rubbing an object or tool against it

Full Definition

transitive verb

1 a : to remove from a surface by usually repeated strokes of an edged instrument
b : to make (a surface) smooth or clean with strokes of an edged instrument or an abrasive

2a : to grate harshly over or against
b : to damage or injure the surfaceof by contact with a rough surface
c : to draw roughly or noisily over a surface

And because the people’s the enemy

..should be

And because the people ARE the enemy

People depicts plurality

……

Then this final one:

The holidays in this country IS just too MUCH

.should be..

The holidays in this country ARE just too MANY

MANY must always be used instead of MUCH when referring to discrete things (things that can be counted.

The holidays mentioned above can be counted.

You must say, for instance, the rice you served me is too MUCH (uncountable), rather than too MANY.
……

On a lighter note, we are always trying to improve our mastery of non native languages (specifically the lingua franca – English). Even from infancy.

When are we going to start paying that kind of meticulous attention to our local languages, so that they do not all eventually become extinct?

Food for thought!

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