QUESTION I'm a court reporter. I've always been confused when cops use military time. "I responded to the scene at 0300." Should there be a colon in there?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Grandview, Missouri Tue, Jan 1, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE In military or tweny-four-hour time, we don't use a colon. An exception would be when you're using this style to indicate seconds (or even decimal parts of a second), as in 16:09:41.3 (which would mean nine minutes and 41.3 seconds after four PM.
Authority: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed. U of Chicago P: Chicago. 1993. p. 306.
QUESTION Sometime, we will put a preposition after the relative pronouneg. This is the knife with which he was killed1.why do we use the word "with" in the above sentence ?
"This is a question about which I know nothing"
"This is the knife which I bought"
2.Are the above sentences correct?"The questions were all on opera, about which subject I know nothing"3.Is the sentence correct?
If it is correct , what is the word "subject" refer to? and can we omit the word "subject'?
Thank for you help!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Hong Kong Wed, Jan 2, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE This is what Quirk and Greenbaum say about this construction:
Expressions with which tend to be uncommon except in formally precise writing; the preposition usually precedes which and explicitness often extends to completion of the prepositional phrase by a general noun, locative or temporal as the case may be (making which a relative determiner):Authority: A Grammar of Contemporary English by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. Longman Group: London. 1978.
More commonly, we find where or when instead of the which expression:
- In 1960 he came to London, in which city he has lived ever since.
- He came in 1960, at which time there was . . . .
- . . . to London, where . . .
- . . . in 1960, when . . .
Don't confuse the simple relative clause in "This is the knife which I bought" (I think most writers would use "that" in that sentence) with the relative clause containing (introduced by) a preposition as in "This is a question about which I know nothing" (I think most writers would use "subject" instead of "question"). Yes, you can leave "subject" out of your opera statement (the "which" refers to "opera," so you don't need "subject").
QUESTION Which is correct, and why?
- Appendix A through E
- Appendices A through E
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Newport News, Virginia Wed, Jan 2, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Based on an analogy with "Chapters two through five," I'd go with the plural. Apparently the plural sort of "carries over" in the prepositional phrase. You could also use "appendixes" instead of the Latin plural form.
QUESTION I found the following two sentences in a section reprinted from William Strunk's The Elements of Style. Here is the reference page: www.bartleby.com/141/strunk4.htmlWrite to-day, to-night, to-morrow (but not together) with hyphen.I have never written "today" with a hyphen, and usually write "anyone" as one word. Can I continue? Is "to-day" an older way of writing the word?
Write any one, every one, some one, some time (except the sense of formerly) as two words.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Calgary, Alberta, Canada Wed, Jan 2, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You will no longer find that section (Section VI) in the printed version of The Elements of Style. In fact, it was no longer included in the version I bought when I was in college back in the 1960s (back when we took notes on stone tablets). The online version is the non-copyrighted 1918 version, and it doesn't have the advantage of E.B. White's editing. You would have to investigate these spellings in the Oxford English Dictionary to see if, in fact, Strunk's peculiar spellings have any merit to them (or had any merit to them, in 1918).
QUESTION When writing a paragraph and you want to bullet an item after it, do you need two bulleted ideas to use this type of outline or can you have only one bullet. ieWe recommend that future research papers include the following:
- Table of Contents
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Brecksville, Ohio Thu, Jan 3, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE It is, at best, a stretch of logic to use any kind of outline format when you've got only one item to outline. Can you write, instead, "We recommend that future research papers include a Table of Contents"?
QUESTION Thank you in advance for any time you can give to this query... I am in a debate over the use of the verb "displays" in the following sentence:The dialog box displays.
It is my contention that the verb in this sentence requires an object, or that we must choose a more appropriate verb to tell the reader that a dialog box appears on the screen (my suggestion is "the dialog box appears"). Would you please help us resolve this debate? I have already presented several arguments about which verbs require objects and which do not. I also have called the Grammar Lady hotline Mary agrees that displays in that sentence requires an object that describes what is being displayed. Help!? Thank you!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Columbia, Maryland Fri, Jan 4, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I recommend that you go with your instincts and with the Grammar Lady's sense that the verb display demands an object. The dictionary does provide for an intransitive use of display: when a bird makes a display of his feathers in such a way that a female bird gets all hot and bothered and ready to fly off to Capistrano with him, we can say that the bird "displays" (without an objectalthough we know what his object really is). Unless you've got a particularly sexy dialog box, I would avoid that usage.
QUESTION In the sentence,"Our employees, most of who have less than two years of experience, are very motivated."is "who" used correctly? I can't figure out what role "most" playsis it "most..have" or "who have"? Is "most" or "who" the nominative? Is "most" usually the nominative or not when it comes in "most of"? Am I using nominative correctly?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Berkeley, California Fri, Jan 4, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE "Most" is the subject (or nominative, if you will) of that clause and "of whom" is a prepositional phrase modifying "most." You need "whom" to serve as the object of the preposition. You might be better off rewriting the entire sentence asMost of our employees have less than two years of experience, but they are very motivated.
QUESTION I keep reading newspaper articles which have sentences beginning with the phrase 'As well'. It is frightfully annoying to me, and although I have tried, I cannot find the rule which applies to this grammatical error. (I am sure it is an error). Example:"As well, the group feels that there could be harm..."HELP! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Shawnigan Lake, B.C., Canada Sat, Jan 5, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The phrase "as well" is trying to modify something in that sentence, but it fails. Is it the group that also feels (in addition to someone else feeling this), or is it that the group feels this (in addition to feeling something else), or is it that the groups feels there could be harm (in addition to something else happening). When such ambiguity exists, the initial modifier is simply not adequate to the task; a simple "also" (next to the thing that it's really supposed to modify) would do a much better job.
QUESTION Would you use who or whom in this sentence:You should remember them for who or whom they were. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Stratford, Connecticut Mon, Jan 7, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Wouldn't you use "what they were," instead? If you insist on the who/whom, though, use who. You need the subject form of the pronoun in that clause, "who they were." That clause then becomes the object of the preposition "for," but the who remains in its subject form.
QUESTION "I have had the good fortune of meeting several influential people in my life, but few have left me with the feeling of enthusiasm that you have."Is this sentence grammatically correct? Can I end the sentence with 'have'. Thanks for any help you can offer. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Unknown Wed, Jan 9, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The problem with this sentence, as you seem to sense, is that the "have" can mean "the feeling that you have" or "the feeling that you have left me with." In casual speech, it's not really a problem, and it's not really that ending the sentence with "have" is, in it self, incorrect. However, the sentence loses a lot of energy beginning with that second clause, partly because it makes enthusiasm sound like a residual effect of some kind, a kind of aftertaste. How about something like "but never in my life have I seen such enthusiasm generated by a single person." Come to think of it, the unintentional self-congratulatory tone of the first clause is rather unnecessary, isn't it?
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