Let’s get started with the answers to last month’s quiz:
1. We are going to the Valentine’s dance in Downtown McAllen. (I realized I capitalized dance last month. No one caught my grammar error.)
2. Do you think your husband is going to buy you a romantic card for Valentine’s Day?
3. Billy couldn’t get his backpack closed because he had too many valentines in it.
4. Celia wanted to go to dinner with her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, but she was too tired.
5. It is time to end this column. I want to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Happy rest of the month, too.
I hope all you Grammar Guardians scored another 100.
I need some help from Valley historians for a question emailed to me by a faithful reader. She often hears people, including a local radio personality, pronounce McAllen “MacAllen,” and it just doesn’t sound right. I smiled when I read her email because I hear it all the time, too. I’d love to hear from readers who know the reason why some people say “McAllen” and others say “MacAllen.” Is it personal preference or is there some history behind it?
While we’re on the topic of history and pronunciation, this same Grammar Guardian would like to know why so many people say “Rio Grandy” like “candy” rather than “Rio Grande” like “stand”?
My next topic for this month centers on a grammatical error I heard someone say on the radio recently, “these much.” There cannot be “these much” of anything. Normally, “these” is plural and “this” is singular; however, with “much,” you never use “these,” despite the fact that “much” refers to more than one. “This” is also used with “many.” Aren’t you glad you can get this much help with grammar each month? Had I known this many people guard our grammar on a regular basis, I would have started this column years ago.
Last month on a local television station, I heard “a series of more meetings.” If it is a series, there will be more, unless the series has concluded. Therefore, the correct way to say this would be “a series of meetings.”
My final topic for the day was sent in by Grammar Guardian Sylvia Clark. She noticed in a local newspaper, “I can’t hardly tell you how I feel.” Perhaps it was a typo, but it should read, “I can hardly tell you how I feel.” Similarly, though you may often hear, “I can’t hardly wait for summer,” it should be “I can hardly wait for summer.”
Now for this month’s quiz. Let’s look at punctuation:
1. The McDonalds in Illinois had green shakes on St Patricks Day but they don’t have them in the Valley
2. Funny how we have the Luck o’ the Irish and Friday the 13th in the same month
3. If I find a four-leaf clover Im planning to buy a Lotto ticket
4. To celebrate St Patricks Day people in Chicago dye the river green drink green beer and have a parade
5. I planned to wear green on the seventeenth but forgot
I hope you all have the Luck o’ the Irish this month. Thanks for continuing to guard our grammar.
Please send email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.