Grammar Challenge: Answers and Winner

Posted by @ 12:45 pm on April 22nd, 2011

Thanks to all who participated in the Second Grammar Challenge. “essysea” is the winner; if you are “essysea,” contact me in some way that allows me to contact you back, and I’ll do you a prize. There were 47 comments on the post, which is fitting.

Here are my answers and, in cases where I missed something, Wallace’s edits to my answers:

(1) It was the yuletide season like I had never seen it before.

It was the yuletide season as I had never seen it before.

(2) We were in Innsbruck, Austria and we could not find a place to stay the night.

We were in Innsbruck, Austria, and we could not find a place to stay the night. [Comma after Austria]

(3) We passed by the inn.

We passed the inn. [By is redundant]

(4) It has made its way into the mainstream of verbal discourse.

It has made its way into mainstream discourse. [Discourse is already verbal]

(5) Cross burning began in medieval times on the green hills of Scotland, where clans used them to rally their kin and kith against enemies.

Cross burning began in medieval times on the green hills of Scotland, where clans used them to rally their kith and kin against enemies. [The idiom is reversed]

(6) “Get used to it.” I said to myself.

“Get used to it,” I said to myself

(7) As the president is a Christian, he prays every morning.

Since [or because] the president is  a Christian, he prays every morning. [As for because is a Britishism, if I remember correctly]

(8) I can support this claim with quotes from several published sources.

I can support this claim with quotations from several published sources.

(9) It consisted of only two brief 50-minute workshops which one speaker enticingly described as “therapy session sized.”

It consisted of only two 50-minute workshops which one speaker enticingly described as “therapy session sized.” [Brief is redundant; n-dash between session and sized]

(10) How else can we explain such an abomination of human nature to occur?

How else can we explain the occurrence of such an abomination of human nature? [Or others, as long as the poor syntax is fixed]

(11) Bekavac also quoted Jeannette Rankin, which the Internet tells me was the first female representative to Congress.

Bekavac also quoted Jeannette Rankin, who the Internet tells me was the first female representative to Congress. [Not whom because it is a subjective pronoun with the verb “was”]

(12) There were less than a hundred students at the rally.

There were fewer than a hundred students at the rally. [Fewer if you can count it, less if you measure it.]

(13) People often say that Freud’s theories are about nothing but sex. They are generally correct.

People often say that Freud’s theories are about nothing but sex. The people are generally correct.

(14) Timothy McVeigh might be a leader and he has stepped over lines where only a minority of anti-government agitators will follow.

Timothy McVeigh might be a leader, and he has stepped over lines where only a minority of anti-government agitators will follow.

(15) The U.S., Canada, and Mexico comprise North America.

North American comprises the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

(16) The Dean of Students at Harvey Mudd had the burned cross thrown in a dumpster without notifying its original owner and it looked suspicious.

The Dean of Students at Harvey Mudd had the burned cross thrown in a Dumpster without notifying the original owner, and the situation looked suspicious. [Dumpster is a proper noun; “its” is a vague pronoun reference that could refer to [D]umpster, and “it” is vague as well.]

(17) His name was left off of the list.

HIs name was left off the list.

(18) Drug-induced or not, he’s very inarticulate.

Under the influence of drugs or not, he’s very inarticulate. [Other possibilities here, but “drug-induced” cannot modify “he”]

(19) A person should be honest about their desires.

A person should be honest about his or her desires.

(20) Most people are adverse to cannibalism.

Most people are averse to cannibalism.

(21) I must follow those that I lead.

I must follow those whom I lead.

(22) There was fog outside of our car.

There was fog outside our car.

(23) If one acts, you are a leader.

If one acts, one is a leader.

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