Saturday, 22 August 2015
Saturday, 8 August 2015
Wednesday, 22 July 2015
As you leave the ferry terminal at Mayne Island and venture onto the vast network of roads, you are duly warned to watch out for deer. As in Greater Victoria, controversy rages over what to do about these gentle creatures, and here the problem is more serious, for without predators they have multiplied far beyond the capacity of the island to support them.
Sunday, 14 June 2015
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
And since we've strayed a little from the original question, what about the comparative and superlative forms of adverbs? If the adverb ends in "ly", and most do, then the comparatives and superlatives are formed with "more" and "most", not the suffixes "er" and "best".
Simply, more simply, most simply
Grammarians across the country were shocked in the seventies when the Federal Government came out with a fitness advertisement which contained the slogan: "Breathe easier!" It should have been: "Breathe more easily!
Adverbs which don't end in "ly", usually have similar comparatives and superlatives to the corresponding adjective.
Hard, harder, hardest
Well, better, best
Badly, worse, worst
By the way, be careful with the word "badly". You can't feel badly unless you have damaged nerve endings. If you upset someone, you will feel bad about it, not badly, in the same way that you would feel sad, not sadly. The adjective "bad" is modifying the person feeling, not the verb "feel". Just remember, when it comes to "feeling", use the word "bad" in the same way that you would use the word "sad".
"I feel sad that you will have to go alone. I feel bad about letting you down."
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
This morning In a news report I read a succinct announcement by BC Ferries about possible changes to service between Vancouver and the mainland:
It is contemplated that the Major Routes Strategy will challenge historically established notions of how BC Ferries' service is delivered to the mid-island corridor, and will require changes in customer behaviour.
No errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar. But what did it mean? I imagined someone in the upper reaches of management, chin on hand like Rodin's Le Penseur, contemplating not the meaning of life, or even the amount of his forthcoming bonus, but what ferry route to cut. I pictured Major Routes Strategy challenging Historically Established Notions to a duel. Swords or pistols? And what were these historically established notions? Idle thoughts arising from great events of the past? How would the service now be delivered? By sail, in order to save fuel? But how do you sail down a corridor? Most intriguing were the required changes in customer behaviour. What would these be? In my experience, ferry passengers have always behaved well enough. Perhaps, now, they would be forbidden from complaining about rising fares under penalty of walking the plank.
It is hard to imagine a greater abuse of language than this. Why do people write this way?
Later, I listened to a CBC report on the proposed changes. The interviewer asked affected passengers the really intelligent question: "How do you feel about this?"
And then, somewhere in the course of this bulletin, a member of the public spoke about "a whole nother thing". An unorthodox use of language, but I understood him perfectly!