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Syntax Training | Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

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August 20, 2008


Mike McCrae

I would make other changes. He uses the word "grilled" and "patty" twice. In the series, I would also move that word "grilled" to the end if I was keeping all three elements--it is not really a parallel word within the series. How about this:

Patty Melt
A hamburger with Swiss cheese and grilled onions all served on toasted rye bread.

Stuart Robinson

My comments are somewhat off-topic, but I'm fascinated by Lynn's use of the following phrase and its history in American English:

"Chris wrote me about the menu at Cliff's Grill in Houston."

On this side of the Atlantic, we would expect "Chris wrote to me about the menu at Cliff's Grill in Houston."

Instead, "Chris wrote me..." would be used in the context of "Chris wrote me a letter" or "Chris wrote me a poem about flowers."


Mike, I like your version. I don't think it's the same lunch though. Chris's is on grilled bread; yours is toasted. Chris's is a BEEF patty; yours is a BURGER. (Could there be a difference?) If we were editing or proofreading the menu for Chris, we would have to be sure we didn't upset the chef!

Thanks for commenting.


Stuart, thank you for pointing out the "wrote me" distinction between British and American English. "Wrote to me" is also correct in the U.S. That's why I have been searching my reference books to find any comments on my use of "wrote me," but I have had no luck. You have me wondering whether the form I used is rather informal.

However, now that I am aware that "to me" is expected in Britain, I will be more conscious of including the preposition "to" for an international audience.

If you have any new insights, please write TO me about them!


Simon O'Neill

Prepositions have it tough in the US, it seems

"Chris wrote to me on Tuesday"

becomes the more abrupt...

"Chris wrote me Tuesday" on the other side of the pond. Reading an American newspaper, it often seems that half the words are missing...

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