Niagara Gazette

Columns

September 29, 2012

LETTERS TO THE ISLAND: Getting after bad grammar

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Spell-Checkers — Here’s our quarterly critique of media grammar, starting with TV, which we normally excuse as spontaneously accident-prone.

Bill O’Reilly Tuesday trashed an entertainer called Madonna, possibly named for a long-ago Niagara Falls girls’ high school.

In a political rant during a performance, she invoked President Lincoln and Dr. King, concluding that they had “not died for nothing.”

O’Reilly took her to task for the double negative.

Actually, her grammar was correct. She might have said “they died for something,” but that wouldn’t have the impact. That’s the sort of precision they taught at Madonna High.

But O’Reilly, who during a “War on Christmas” crusade said that Irving Berlin had written “Silent Night,” probably could care less.

•••

WHAT’S TO LIKE

: From ArtVoice, July 5 – “Our screens are inundated with Republicans. Pathologically greedy ones like Mitt Romney, mean nasty ones like Rick Santorum, bullies like Newt Gingrich, morons like Sarah Palin…(etc., several more similar cited),” this from a tenured SUNY professor. Sorry, prof, they are not LIKE Mitt, Rick, Newt, etc., they ARE Mitt, Rick, Newt, etc. Even morons know that “SUCH AS” Mitt, etc., is correct. Taxes on people like us pay your salary, which makes us mean and nasty, too.

•••

STATE OF EDITING

: From the Tonawanda News, June — “I will be stepping in to take a larger role in the evening production process, previously more the city editor’s providence,” Even in Rhode Island, that would be “provenance,” an area of authority. With a small “p,” providence is evidence of grace.

•••

ONE AND ONLY

: From Baseball America, July 2012 – “Speare has been a trailblazer in ballpark design. Each of his stadiums are unique, but each also share a trait that began back in Buffalo.” This sentence runs back and forth between singular and plural like a base-stealer in a rundown. Correct: “Each of his stadiums IS unique, but each also SHARES a trait that began back in Buffalo.” Thanks for the plug, though.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page