A nice Correct Adjective

rogersgeorge on August 25th, 2016

A quickie post today. I occasionally bemoan the use of introductory adverbs when you want adjectives. You know, using “hopefully” to start a sentence. So it’s nice when I find some writing that doesn’t make this common mistake. This one is from a Scientific American article about tigers (the bold is my emphasis):

Over the next six years radiotelemetry revealed the nuances of tiger behavior by enabling me to spend less time searching blindly for tigers and more time observing them. More important, this approach exposed where the cats wandered.

Yay! He didn’t write “More importantly.”

Don’t you, either!

PS—I ran into this very mistake today, in a piece of post-apocalyptic fiction:

Most importantly, they’d recovered a few dozen wheels. A wheel could be a gear, or part of a pulley, or a component in a steam engine.

PPS—While I’m at it, here’s an article that didn’t beg the question:

Juno is also the first solar-powered spacecraft to explore the outer planets, which raises the question: why solar power?

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Beware Statistics

rogersgeorge on August 23rd, 2016

You know the old saying about three kinds of lies, Lies, Dirty Rotten Lies, and Statistics. (Okay, the second one uses a four-letter word). Statistics are tricky (or dangerous) because you can truthfully describe something and still mislead. In high school I read a book, How to Lie with Statistics  by Darrell Huff. It’s a […]

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One for Two

rogersgeorge on August 21st, 2016

These folks had two chances to get some tricky wording correct. They got one of them right, anyway. Here’s the sentence, from a gizmag oops New Atlas architecture article: Comprising 60,000 unique aluminum parts stacked into 31 layers, this incredibly complicated structure was inspired by scientific research into the health of honeybees and the role […]

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Another Mistake not Made

rogersgeorge on August 19th, 2016

A solecism that high school English teachers love to warn against is starting a sentence with “hopefully,” as in Hopefully, we’ll all be in time for the meeting. This is really just an instance of a fairly common problem, using an adverb when you need an adjective. You see it a lot in the news […]

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Censorship

rogersgeorge on August 17th, 2016

I recently made a reference to “comic sensors,” and I guess I understand an editor’s desire to keep something read by children free from words generally considered unsuitable for young vocabularies. But we hear lots of stuff on TV that everyone gets exposed to, and references to many things (such as politicians and current events) […]

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