Grammar Nazi

Thank goodness there are some people left who still remember how to construct a sentence. ZdNet in the UK have just published a list of the 10 most flagrant errors of grammar that are commonly committed in prose, and that make the offending authors look stupid. Regardless of whether you believe yourself to be a competent linguist, please read this list. It never hurts to brush up on old principles.

I would also add to this list, misappropriation of a preposition with the use of the word “compare”. You compare some aspect of a person or an object to an idea or an experience (e.g., ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’), whilst you compare most objects with one another (e.g., ‘I need to compare the figures for last month with those of this month’). An easy way to remember this rule is to ask yourself whether you are speaking metaphorically (i.e., comparing to) or whether you are comparing similar entities (i.e., comparing with).

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