DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 07-06-2018

1a. My neighbour’s son wiĺl be convocating this year. (No)

My neighbour’s son will be convoking this year. (Yes)

(Perhaps because students are also involved in “matriculation” and “graduation”, which derive from “matriculate” and “graduate”, some users of English erroneously assume that since “convocation” also involves students, they “convocate”. Convocation derives from “convoke”, following the pattern of how “revocation”, “invocation” and “evocation” derive from “revoke”, “invoke” and “evoke” respectively. Please, don’t say “convocate” again; it is sophisticated illiteracy.)

2a. I just bought a new travelling bag. (No)

I just bought a new travel bag. (Yes)

2b. They didn’t employ her simply because she had no working experience. (No)

They didn’t employ her simply because she had no work experience (Yes)

(Since bags don’t travel under normal circumstances and experience doesn’t work the way humans do, “travelling bag” and “working experience” are howlers. Though “work experience” is ordinarily the type of work people, i.e. volunteers, interns, etc., do to have the experience of how paid jobs are done, extending it to mean experience gained over a period in a career does not alter its form.)

3a. The man had a smelling foot. (No)

The man has a smelly foot. (Yes)

3b. My boss has renewed her driving licence. (No)

My boss has just renewed her driver’s licence. (Yes)

(It is not possible for a foot or a pair of feet to smell the way human beings do. Feet and hands may be “smelly” when they get in contact with odourous substances. Besides, only a person can own a licence; licences don’t drive as “driving lisence” suggests. Meanwhile, the person or body who gives license to people is a “lisensor”; someone authorised to do something or a holder of a license is a “licensee”; the granting of license to anyone is “licensure” and a person that has been given a license to practise, maybe law, medicine or pharmacy, is a “licentiate”. In the UK, “licence” is a noun while “lisense” is a verb. In the US, “lisense” is both a noun and a verb.)

Did You Know?

An “autohagiography” is an autobiography that makes the subject better than they actually are.

Which autohagiography have you read?

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