Grammar Question

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stwo's picture

I'm not picking nits- I just have great deal of curiosity when it comes to grammar.  The description of the Domestic US Politics forum (Discussion of US politics and their world impact.) seems awkward.  I think its the use of "their"  Anyone know if that grammar is correct?   Would  "its" be better grammatically?(Discussion of US politics and its world impact.)

   Just wondering.




DRC's picture
This is one of the real nits

This is one of the real nits that gets picked.  Agreement in case and gender makes it very awkward to always say "his or hers" instead of "its" or "theirs."  In this case I would have said "its" because because politics is a reference to the whole and not its variety.  

We miss the late James J. Kilpatrick whose writers' column was always a joy about the wordsmith's palette.  The loss of fine tones and notes is a major problem.  The misuse of "socialism" is an example of what happens when words don't mean anything except the emotion and intention of the speaker.  It would be good to have more accuracy in insults.  Shoot better rhetorical arrows.

"Very unique" is my pet peeve.  One is enough and only.  Rare is another thing.

The best advice he gave was to use your ear in writing.  Getting the grammar right is good if it helps you be clear and precise.  But getting the rhythm and cadence right makes prose easy to read and gets the music of the language into the art of writing.  In other words, write.  Use the tools of the language because you want to say something you care about, and if you care about it, say it well.  There really aren't any other rules that matter.

douglaslee's picture   * is a collegeboard admissions test question, SAT everyday. It's on my home startup page, just to get my dendrites and synapses coordinated before the really serious stuff like fox or wwwrestling.   is an excellent source, she writes for NYT and did respond personally to a question I e-mailed to her. It is a good source and took her "Woe is I Junior" to my daughter's class in English and Geography when I did my presentation last week

 * btw, I usually get them right, I did this one

stwo's picture
I'm with you on very unique.

I'm with you on very unique.  Also very top, very most, very bottom...

Nice links douglaslee, thanks.