QUESTION Here is the sentence:We make no representation regarding the sufficiency of the procedures described above either for the purposes for which these services have been requested or for any other purpose.The question is on the last word: purpose. I believe this is correct; however, another lady believes it should be "purposes" because the plural form is used earlier in the sentence. My thoughts are that the word "any" just before the last "purpose" can make it singular or plural depending on whatever circumstances arise.
What are your thoughts, please?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Wichita, Kansas Tue, Aug 14, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You're right: the word "any" has you covered, assuming the procedures could be construed as useful for one purpose at a time, or even more than one purpose at a time for that matter. As "weasel language" goes, that sentence pretty well clears the writer of all responsibility for anything, ever.
QUESTION How do i use pp (per pro) to sign a letter on somebody else's behalf? Do i write pp and then my name or pp and then the other person's name?
Thank you for your advice
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE York, England Tue, Aug 14, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Perhaps there is a convention for using "pp" in the UK that does not prevail in the U.S. The Gregg Reference Manual makes no reference to that abbreviation or usage. (The abbreviation "pp" is apt to mean "pages" in the U.S.) You can simply sign your name and then put "For Firstname Lastname" under your signature. Another device is for you to sign the other person's name and write your initials (using all CAPS) beneath that signature.
Authority: The Gregg Reference Manual by William A. Sabin. 9th Edition. McGraw-Hill: New York. 2001. Used with the consent of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. p. 379.
QUESTION How do you term an address to a couple who are both doctors? Drs. Hubble?
Dr. Phil and Dr. Pam Hubble?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE New York, New York Tue, Aug 14, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE On the envelope, use both full names on separate lines. Inside, in the salutation itself, use "Dear Drs. Hubble:".
QUESTION First of all, a big "THANKS" for your wonderful service! The question is the proper verb for collective nouns that contain plurals. Specifically, in Illinois, there are a group of towns called "The Quad Cities." My question deals with the verb. Examples: "The Quad Cities delivers Midwest hospitality at its best." AND: "The Quad Cities" is ready to entertain you! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Chicago, Illinois Wed, Aug 15, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Unless you're referring to the Quad Cities as a singular organization, a political or social entity unto itself, the plural is going to sound much better, especially in that last sentence, "The Quad Cities are ready to entertain you!" Also, I would write "There is a group of towns called 'The Quad Cities.'" You might say, however, "Quad Cities is a cultural and social organization of. . . . " In short, it depends on the context and intent of your sentence and how you are referring to the organization, as a singular, incorporating entity or as a group of four towns that can still act independently and individually.
QUESTION We have four published magazine issues per year. For next year, we are changing the focus of some of the issues and the question arose about the apostrophe s...and its appropriate placement and even whether or not it is needed.
For example: Our first issue of the year is our Buyers' Guide Issue (with the s placed after Buyers' as we want to guide our "Buyers" (plural) in the right direction...
The Experts Issue will be a new mid-year issue that will contain advice and direction from "experts" in the industry. Should we refer to this as The Experts Issue or The Experts' Issue (with the s apostrophe appropriately placed)?
Each issue also contains a Smart Shoppers Report. In the past we have listed and coined it as Smart Shoppers Report (with no apostrophe), reasoning that it is a report that WE compiled for Smart Shoppers and it is NOT the Shoppers that are giving the report...?
I'm wondering since we are sticking with Buyers' Guide (s'), if we should at least be consistent, but we prefer to be gramatically correct, even at the cost of consistency.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Feasterville, Pennsylvania Wed, Aug 15, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I'm staring at the spine of the New York Public Library Writer's Guide to Style and Usage as I write this, thinking that the singular Buyer's, Shopper's, and Expert's would work just fine. It makes a bit of a difference if you put that "the" in front of it, as you do with "The Expert's Issue" (then I would definitely use the apostrophe -s).On the other hand, I did attend the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference some years ago. I assume they wanted to emphasize the plurality of the experience, the fact that many people "own" the experience at the same time. Since people will be using your guides in more or less individual settings, as individuals, I think I'd use the singular possessive form, consistently, for all three of your guides. At least you've got the New York Public Library to back you up.
QUESTION Is there any instance where become is not a linking verb? For example:The catterpillar becomes a butterfly. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Corbin, Kentucky Wed, Aug 15, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Not in that sense, no. The relationship between caterpillar and the butterfly is not a relationship in which a subject is doing something to an object; they are linked, though. When the verb become is used to mean to flatter or to improve the appearance of something, it will no longer be a linking verb, as in, "That dress really becomes your sister."
QUESTION Although at least one rebel leader said Tuesday that the rebels would respect the cease-fire and there were news reports that the rebels would disarm, most Macedonian newspapers ranged from guarded to skeptical to cynical in their assessments.As written, does the subordinate clause of Alan Bocks' sentence make sufficiently clear that there is compound treatment not of a statement (i.e. noun clause) of a rebel leader but of the "although"-clause (i.e. adverbial clause)?
If so, is the clarity achieved by placing "that" before a rebel leader's statement and not placing it before the second part of the "although"-clause?
If not, how can the subordinate clause be revised, so the reader won't mistake the second part of the "although"-clause for an additional statement of a rebel leader, or a noun clause?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Surrey, BC, Canada Wed, Aug 15, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE There is the possibility of ambiguity, at least, in that sentence, and some readers are going to think that the rebel leader said that there were news reports that the rebels would disarm, which is not your intent, apparently. I think we can avoid the problem by repeating the "although":Although at least one rebel leader said Tuesday that the rebels would respect the cease-fire and although there were news reports that the rebels would disarm, most Macedonian newspapers ranged from guarded to skeptical to cynical in their assessments.
QUESTION Should I hyphenate rededicate and recommit in a sentence together or should I hyphenate rededicate since it was not found in the dictionary.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Omaha, Nebraska Wed, Aug 15, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Looking up words in the dictionary is usually a good way to find out if they need hyphenation or not, but it's apt to let you down when the prefix is as common as "re-," say, or "un-," where the meaning will be clear enough if you know the meaning of the word without the prefix. Those words will work fine without the hyphens.
QUESTION Hi! One of my friends insists that the clause "it is because" is unacceptable by pointing out that "because" is a conjunction and cannot be used after "it is." I disagree with him citing that "the reason is because" is acceptable according to the American Heritage Book of English Usage, therefore, "it is because" must also be correct. I, however, cannot find any good references to directly support my disagreement. Would you please kindly help me out. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Laguna Hills, California Thu, Aug 16, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Presuming we know what the "it" refers to, that construction "it is because" or "this is because" is certainly common enough. I understand your friend's objection to it, however, even with all due respect to the American Heritage book. It's not so much because the word because is a conjunction, however, but because it introduces an adverbial clause. We end up with an adverbial clause modifying a linking verb, which is peculiar. That's why most writers object to "the reason is because . . . ." and would greatly prefer "the reason is that . . . ." (with the that introducing a noun clause, which can be linked to the subject).
QUESTION Use of so...as as...as SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Somewhere, Belarus Fri, Aug 17, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE In making comparisons, we frequently use the construction as . . . as, as in "He's mad as a hatter" or "She is as tall as her mother now." In negative constructions, especially, we might use the so . . . as alternative: "She's not so tall as her father." The as . . . . as construction, however, is much more common nowadays, even in negative constructions.
Authority: The New Fowler's Modern English Usage edited by R.W. Burchfield. Clarendon Press: Oxford, England. 1996. Used with the permission of Oxford University Press.
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