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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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March 04, 2008



I'll add to the list:

Mark the date on a calendar so you don't miss it next year!

I can't believe I missed it. It would have given me the perfect opportunity to blog about my #1 peeve, the misuse of its vs. it's.


Kathy, I encourage you to blog about your #1 peeve whenever you feel the need!


Therese McGee

Hi Lynn,
This is my current #1 grammar peeve. More and more I am hearing people say "different than" as opposed to "different from." Has the grammar changed for a comperative? Or should they be saying "differenter than"?


Therese, the grammar has not changed. But interestingly I have not been reading or hearing the mistake you mention, and I used to see it a lot.

"The Chicago Manual of Style" describes "different from" as "generally preferable" to "different than." But it admits that "differently than" is almost required, as in "she described the scene differently than he did."

I recommend using the correct phrase and hoping people will copy you!



The grammar error that most grates on me is using a plural pronoun in reference to a singular noun. For example, "If your friend can't get here by noon, tell them to come when they can."


Hi, Bob. That one used to bother me a lot too. I have softened a bit because the correct "his or her" is awkward at times--especially when it must be repeated. And writers can't always take the time to restructure the sentence to make it plural.

You are correct, of course. Thanks for commenting.


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