Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Proofrdr » 15 Jan 2015, 02:55

I found this interesting and hopeful discussion about the effect of the internet and digital equipment on language. This focuses on the English language but is true for all languages. It's 20 minutes long. here
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Proofrdr » 15 Feb 2015, 04:24

Today's semantic peeve is the result of a book I just finished. It was a decent light romance with snappy dialog, but the repeated incorrect use of the word prior was like nails on a chalk board.

Examples with names changed to protect the innocent:
Alice had been arrested for a drug possession in college some fifteen years prior.
When she had gone into business with her 3 best friends seven years prior, they'd chosen the loft for its wide-open space.
Joe had been her assistant since she'd started the company thirteen years prior.

In each of those cases, the correct usage is the adverb ago. Ago refers to a period of completed time that goes from the past to the now present—the case in each of those examples. As they are, the reader is left with the question "prior to what?"

Prior, and earlier, are used to refer to a point in time that is before a specific time in the past. It is an action that was completed before that specific past moment.
Thus, the first sentence would have made sense this way:
Alice had been arrested for a drug possession in college some fifteen years prior to being hired.

I rest my case.
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby ElaineB » 15 Feb 2015, 06:14

:bow:
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Proofrdr » 15 Feb 2015, 08:03

Thank you. ;)
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Baker » 16 Feb 2015, 07:13

Thank you! Always good to read your little expositions on grammar useage. I am now in more possession of grammar knowing than I was prior.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Proofrdr » 16 Feb 2015, 08:54

You're welcome, Baker. I do this for you since I know specificity and exactitude of vocabulary are your greatest writing weaknesses.
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Baker » 18 Feb 2015, 06:27

lol
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Proofrdr » 18 Feb 2015, 08:38

Gotcha ;)
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby wildlx » 18 Feb 2015, 09:42

lol Everybody notices the difficulties Baker has with vocabulary ;).
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Re: Grammar & Usage from an Editor's POV

Postby Proofrdr » 18 Feb 2015, 14:50

Yes, it's a sad and well-known truth. How Fran daily tolerates that burden is truly testament to her patience and love.
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