When bad grammar happens to good people - how to avoid common errors in English - Ann Batko - 2004

When bad grammar happens to good people - how to avoid common errors in English - Ann Batko - 2004

      This book has had a long gestation. The idea was inspired by the chapter title “Do You Make These 100 Common Errors in English?” taken from one of the many books written by the late Herbert V. Prochnow, former president of the First National Bank of Chicago.
      I am indebted to Edward Rosenheim, the distinguished editor of this book, for the vision and direction he gave at critical points in the planning and writing. I am grateful to Tracy Weiner, associate director of the University of Chicago Writing Program, for creating the various test sections, which provide invaluable reinforcement and a welcome sense of humor. Barbara Stufflebeem, a freelance editor and former student of Edward Rosenheim’s, also made valuable contributions to the manuscript.

When bad grammar happens to good people

Batko, Ann.
When bad grammar happens to good people : how to avoid common
errors in English / by Ann Batko ; edited by Edward Rosenheim.
p. cm.
Includes index.
ISBN 1-56414-722-3


Introduction: How Do We Learn to Speak Correctly?
Grammar Review

Chapter 1: Perplexing Pronouns
A Lesson on Pronoun Cases
Use the Subjective Case When...
Use the Objective Case When...
Use the Possessive Case When...
Subjective and Objective Cases
1. I vs. Me
2. She vs. Her
3. Who vs. Whom
4. Whoever vs. Whomever
Test: Subjective and Objective Case
Answer Key: Subjective and Objective Case
Objective and Possessive Case
5. His vs. Him
6. Their vs. Them
Test: Objective and Possessive Case
Answer Key: Objective and Possessive Case
Relative Pronouns: “Which,” “That,” and “Who/Whom”
7. Which vs. That
Test : Relative Pronouns
Answer Key: Relative Pronouns
Intensive or Reflexive Pronouns–What They’re for and Where NOT to Put Them
8. Me vs. Myself
Test: Intensive and Reflexive Pronouns
Answer Key: Intensive and Reflexive Pronouns

Chapter 2: Vexing Verbs
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
9. Lie vs. Lay
10. Sit vs. Set
Test: Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
Answer Key: Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
A Lesson on Verb Tenses
Forms of the Verb “to Be” Across the Six Tenses
“Shall” and “Will”
Tricky Verb Tenses
11. Do
12. Burst
13. Dive
14. Drink
15. Swim
16. Ring
17. Sing
18. Spring
19. Hang
20. Drive
21. Ought
22. Be sure and
23. Try and
Test: Tricky Verb Tenses
Answer Key: Tricky Verb Tenses
The Subjunctive Mood
24. If I Was vs. If I Were
Test: The Subjunctive
Answer Key: The Subjunctive

Chapter 3: Ambiguous Agreements
25. Subjects With Complex Modifiers
Agreement With Compound Subjects
26. Subjects Joined by “And”
27. “Either/Or” and “Neither/Nor”
28. Subjects Joined by “Or”
Test: Compound Subjects and Verbs
Answer Key: Compound Subjects and Verbs
Agreement With Indefinite Pronouns
29. Each…Are
30. None…Is/Are
Test: Indefinite Pronouns and Verbs
Answer Key: Indefinite Pronouns and Verbs
Indefinite Pronouns and Personal Pronouns
31. Everyone…Their
Test: Indefinite Pronouns and Personal Pronouns
Answer Key: Indefinite Pronouns and Personal Pronouns

Chapter 4: Mangled Modifiers
Adjectives vs. Adverbs
32. Bad vs. Badly
33. Real vs. Really
34. Near vs. Nearly
35. Good vs. Well
Test: Adjectives vs. Adverbs
Answer Key: Adjectives vs. Adverbs
Comparatives vs. Superlatives
36. Bigger vs. Biggest
37. Less vs. Least
38. Better vs. Best
39. More vs. Most
Test: Comparatives vs. Superlatives
Answer Key: Comparatives vs. Superlatives
Distance/Number/Quantity Modifiers
40. Between vs. Among
41. Fewer vs. Less
42. Farther vs. Further
43. Number vs. Amount
44. So far as vs. As far as
Test: Distance/Number/Quantity Modifiers
Answer Key: Distance/Number/Quantity Modifiers
Absolute Modifiers
45. Unique vs. Most Unique
46. Perfect vs. More Perfect
47. Infinite vs. Less Infinite
48. Ultimate vs. Penultimate
49. Pregnant vs. Less Pregnant
Test: Absolute Modifiers
Answer Key: Absolute Modifiers
Imprecise and Made-up Modifiers
50. Hopefully
51. Regretfully
52. Awful
53. Plenty
Test: Imprecise and Made-up Modifiers
Answer Key: Imprecise and Made-up Modifiers

Chapter 5: Problem Prepositions
Prepositions Expressing Fine Shades of Meaning
54. Agree to vs. Agree with
55. Differ with vs. Differ from
56. Different from vs. Different than
Test: Prepositions That Express Fine Shades of Meaning
Answer Key: Prepositions That Express Fine Shades of Meaning
Unidiomatic and Superfluous Prepositions
57. Centers around
58. Where…at
59. As to
60. Off of
61. Over with
62. Type of a
Test: Unidiomatic and Superfluous Prepositions
Key: Unidiomatic and Superfluous Prepositions

Chapter 6: Confused Connections
Bookend Expressions
63. Not only…But/But also
64. On the one hand…On the other hand
65. Either…Or
66. Neither…Nor
67. As…As
68. The Reason…Was That
Test: Bookend Expressions
Answer Key: Bookend Expressions
Imprecise, Pretentious, or Needless Connectors
69. Where
70. Per
71. Plus
72. As to whether
73. In the event that
74. Owing to the fact that
75. As vs. Because and Since
Test: Imprecise Conjunctions and Connectors
Answer Key: Imprecise Conjunctions and Connectors

Chapter 7: Puzzling Plurals
76. Media
77. Data
78. Alumni
79. Criteria
80. Phenomena
81. Memoranda
Test: Puzzling Plurals
Answer Key: Puzzling Plurals

Chapter 8: Mixing up Words That Sound the Same
82. Accept vs. Except
83. Advice vs. Advise
84. Affect vs. Effect
85. Amoral vs. Immoral
86. Averse vs. Adverse
87. Beside vs. Besides
88. Biannually vs. Biennially
89. Climatic vs. Climactic
90. Could of vs. Could have
91. Elude vs. Allude
92. Imminent vs. Eminent
93. Ingenious vs. Ingenuous
94. Jibe vs. Jive
95. Tack vs. Tact
96. Tortuous vs. Torturous
Test: Mixing up Words That Sound the Same
Answer Key: Mixing up Words That Sound the Same

Chapter 9: Mixing up Words That Look the Same
97. Adapt vs. Adopt
98. Allusion vs. Illusion vs. Delusion
99. Assignment vs. Assignation
100. Childlike vs. Childish
101. Continual vs. Continuous
102. Creditable vs. Credible vs. Credulous
103. Incredible vs. Incredulous
104. Elegy vs. Eulogy
105. Epitaph vs. Epithet
106. Flaunt vs. Flout
107. Luxurious vs. Luxuriant
108. Morale vs. Moral
109. Periodic vs. Periodical
110. Persecute vs. Prosecute
111. Proceed vs. Precede
112. Respectful vs. Respective
113. Sensuous vs. Sensual
114. Simple vs. Simplistic
115. Uninterested vs. Disinterested
Test: Mixing up Words That Look the Same
Answer Key: Mixing up Words That Look the Same

Chapter 10: Mixing up Words Whose Meanings Are Related
116. Annoy vs. Irritate vs. Aggravate
117. Burglary vs. Robbery
118. Can vs. May
119. Compose vs. Comprise
120. Convince vs. Persuade
121. Eager vs. Anxious
122. Explicit vs. Implicit
123. Figuratively vs. Literally vs. Virtually
124. Imply vs. Infer
125. Kind of /Sort of vs. Rather
126. Let vs. Leave
127. Like vs. As and As if
128. Likely vs. Apt vs. Liable
129. Percent vs. Percentage
130. Quote vs. Quotation
131. Semiannually vs. Semimonthly vs. Semiweekly
132. Serve vs. Service
133. Take vs. Bring
134. Use vs. Utilize
Test: Mixing up Words Whose Meanings Are Related
Answer Key: Mixing up Words Whose Meanings Are Related

Chapter 11: Made-up Words
135. Irregardless
136. Authored
137. Critiqued
138. Gift
139. Adding “-ize”
140. Enthuse
141. Adding “-wise”
Test: Made-up Words
Answer Key: Made-up Words

Chapter 12: Wasteful Words and Infelicities
142. A half a
143. And et cetera
144. Like
145. The field of
146. Needless to say
147. Time period
148. Party
Test: Wasteful Words
Answer Key: Wasteful Words

Chapter 13: Mispronounced Words
149. Air vs. Err
150. Anyways vs. Anyway
151. A ways vs. A way
152. Cent vs. Cents
153. Libary vs. Library
154. Reconize vs. Recognize
155. Stricly vs. Strictly
156. Heighth vs. Height
157. Athaletics vs. Athletics
158. Goverment vs. Government
159. Irrevelant vs. Irrelevant
160. Temperment vs. Temperament
161. Lightening vs. Lightning
162. Mischevious vs. Mischievous
163. Grevious vs. Grievous
164. Histry vs. History
165. Nucular vs. Nuclear
166. Perscription vs. Prescription
167. Prespiration vs. Perspiration
168. Disasterous vs. Disastrous
169. Accidently vs. Accidentally
170. Representive vs. Representative
171. Preform vs. Perform
172. Asterik vs. Asterisk
173. Artic vs. Arctic
174. Anartica vs. Antarctica
175. Expresso vs. Espresso

Review Tests
About the Author and Editor

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