DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 02-10-2018

1a. Can you sport the error in that sentence? (No)

Can you spot the error in that sentence? (Yes)

2b. The lady looks beautiful when she spots a red dress. (No)

The lady looks beautiful when she sports a red dress. (Yes)

(To “spot” is to see, find, notice or identify; to “sport” is to display or wear something.)

2a. The politician who won the election is clever and calculative. (No)

The politician who won the election is clever and calculating. (Yes)

2b. No matter how hard the musician tries, people still consider him a mediocre. (No)

No matter how hard he tried, people still consider him a mediocre musician. (Yes)

(A “calculating” person deliberately plans to get what he wants while hurting or harming other people in the process. “Calculative” relates to calculation. “Mediocre” is an adjective that means lacking exceptional quality or ability. It is not a noun.)

3a. I am not surprised, birds of the same feather flock together. (No)

I am not surprised, birds of a feather flock together. (Yes)

3b. We won’t accept your excuses; you can’t have your cake and eat it. (No)

We won’t accept your excuses; you can’t eat your cake and have it. (Yes)

(It is good to render sayings the way native speakers express them. By the way, why can’t someone eat the cake he has? It makes good sense not to still have the cake one has eaten though the logic of the Nigerian variety is also understandable.)

Did You Know?

There are some acronyms that have become accepted as English words. Five of these are SCUBA (Self-contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), SNAFU (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up – or a different “F” word), RADAR (Radio Detection And Ranging), LASER (Light Amplification by the Simulated Emission of Radiation) and YUPPIE (Young Urban Professional). So, you can talk of Scuba, Snafu, Radar, Laser and Yuppie as everyday English words.

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