Chapter IX. Grammatical Correctness
§ 41. I. Some students will not need much of this chapter. On the other hand, many a boy goes through his grammar-studies without learning to be grammatical. The high school student needs drill on many topics of grammar, and the average college student usually has a few weak points. Again, it is nothing unusual for a well-educated man to retain some one fault quite unconsciously. I knew a college president who to his dying day was likely to say aint instead of isn't. Another highly educated friend says without when he means unless. A good many of us say different than when we mean different from.
To some successful men grammar seems unimportant anyhow. It is, relatively. So is a clean collar. A man may wear the cleanest of collars and yet not be able to sell goods. A man may speak as accurately as Lindley Murray and yet show wretched judgment in business. I recall a rich man's son who in college scorned to speak correctly or to write legibly. "I shall always be able to hire a stenographer," said he. He is. He is well up in a big business, and other people manage his English for him. People call him a rough diamond, and enjoy his bad grammar.
Oh, very well. If you have business genius and like to be called a rough diamond, go ahead. But a good many of us are not business geniuses, and we know that we must continually cash in our little virtues for what they are worth. Clean collars and good grammar are not the things that make a Napoleon of Wall street, but the absence of clean collars and good grammar arrests attention and divides the customer's interest, and in so far it is bad business. Not all business is done by rough diamonds for rough diamonds with rough diamonds.
The student will find little theory in this chapter. Its purpose is to present in compact form typical specimens of good grammar. The examples are such as would be used in conversation. It is primarily a chapter on spoken English - such English as is used in conversation by educated persons. II. Government. -
1. It's I. It's he. It's she. It's we. It's they.
2. Is it whom you mean? Him who works hard I will pay well. He Who works hard will be paid well.
3. Whom did you name? Who did you say it was? Whom do they think him, to be? Who do they think he is? Whom shall we ask? Who do you think did it? Whom do you like best? Who shall I say called?
4. We stopped whoever came along. Ask whomever you want to.
5. She invited him and me. She invited my wife and me. Between you and me, I don't think so.
6. Let's go. Let's you and me go. [Not, let's us.]
7. John, Jim, Babs, and I went. [I is better here than myself]. They invited John, Jim, Babs, and myself.
8. Act like him [not, like he does].
9. Act as he does [not, like he does]. 10. Whom are you looking for?
1. Each of us is well. Neither of us is well. Either of these is good enough. Neither of these is good enough. Neither of them was there. Every one of them was present. Every one of them has gone.
2. Each girl had her own pencil. Each man had his. Let every one mind his [not, their] own business. If a person is sick, he [not, they] should see a doctor.
3. The squirrel is a wise creature. He stores away [not, they store away] nuts.
4. None of us is perfect. No one is perfect. None are so blind as they that won't see.
5. It's clear that the firm is increasing its plant.
6. The wages of sin is death. His wages have been advanced.
7. Mathematics is fascinating; so is physics; so is athletics.
8. Great pains have been taken. Much pains has been taken.
9. This means is [or, these means are] likely to produce the effect.
10. Oats are growing nicely. Oats make good feed. Oats is a good feed.
11. Ashes are given away here. Ashes make a good path. Ashes is a good material.
12. The presence of so many disturbing factors and unexpected complications makes [not, make] it hard to decide.
13. All sorts of considerations enter [not, enters] the problem.
14. His courage and skill make [not, makes] him invaluable.
15. Here are [not is] all sorts of goods.
16. Here's every sort [not, all sorts] of goods.
17. Here are lots [not, Here's] of goods.
18. Here's a lot of goods.
17. There were [not, was] Harry, Ben, and L
18. There are lots [not, There's] of goods.
19. There's a lot of goods.
20. Marshall Field and Company are a big firm.
21. The Macmillan Company is doing business in England also.
22. The Macmillan Company is buying paper.
23. Marshall Field and Company are buying in Europe.
24. The crowd is big. The crowd is moving this way. They are all shouting.
25. This firm treats its employes well.
26. A number of men are trying for the place.
27. The number of men who are trying is large.
28. There's a number of men trying for the place.
29. The scissors are over there. There's a pair of them. I mean, there's one pair.
30. These goods are spoiled.
31. A cup and saucer is needed.
32. Bread and butter tastes good to a hungry man. [But see the exercise under § 28-2.]
33. Field's are selling drygoods. [But Field's is selling is logical also.]
34. The Macmillans are buying paper.
35. Where are [not, Where's] the goods I left here?
36. The manager with all his salesmen is off for a picnic.
37. The manager and all his salesmen are off for a picnia
38. Neither he nor I am going.
39. Either I or you are going.
40. Either you are to blame, or I am. Either he is wrong or you are.
§ 42. Verbal Nouns
1. His going was unexpected. I was sorry for it. I didn't like it. I like him, but I don't like his going.
2. My going is settled. Do you approve of it? Do you approve of my going? I don't ask whether you approve of me; I ask whether you approve of the going that belongs to me.