Tuesday, May 23, 2017

TIP TUESDAY: THERE & THERE'S

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

You didn't really think I'd continue the story of the two nine-year-old boys today, did you? No way. You have to wait. The world needs TIP TUESDAY.

I'm not editing now, so I have time to blog. I like blogging, but someone please send me a book to edit. I'm available for a reasonable price. Ask Willy Dunne Wooters. I'm what's known as a cheap date even if the invitation is to edit.

All right. That's enough self-advertising for now.

First, we discuss there. If I've edited anything for you, then you know I'm prone to telling my clients that there makes a poor subject for your sentence.

Example: There are police officers all over that crime scene.

Let's change it to Police officers are all over that crime scene. 

Can you think of a way to make it even better? I bet you can. How about using a stronger verb?

Second, let's talk about there's. There's makes me crazy because I see it used incorrectly all the time.

THERE'S = THERE IS

Example of use that makes me crazy: There's hikers climbing the mountain.

Is is singular. Hikers is plural. If you insist on using there as your subject, then please get your there's correct. How would you improve our sample sentence?

Okay. I think I've fussed enough for today. Somebody hurry up and hire me.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thanks, fishducky!

40 comments:

  1. Awe! Making us wait. But--good reminders for those of us who butcher the English language regularly. ;)

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    1. You're not a butcher, Rita Pita Pan.

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  2. Hi Janie - I'm sure my writing could be tighter ... but there's and theirs, and its and it's ... et al all seem to slip through into people's writing ... we need to carefully proof-read our own copy - including blog posts ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Absolutely right, Hilary, but you are an excellent writer.

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  3. I know I use incorrect grammar all the time, probably even in my comments here. Because I use it, I don't really notice it in other people's writing either.

    I used to be a graphic designer, and there are so many visual images that offend me, like pictures that aren't straight, horrible typefaces. Any poor graphics really. I suppose that's how you feel about poor grammar.

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    1. I haven't noticed problems with your grammar. It's interesting that poor graphics bother you. A lot of the errors I see are in the news crawl that runs across the bottom of the screen on MSNBC.

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  4. There's gold in them thar hills! And also gold in your Tuesday Tips. Cheers!

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  5. Those nine-year-old boys would use "there's" incorrectly, I bet.

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    1. I bet that's true. Maybe I'll test them on it the next time I threaten them.

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  6. Excellent tip. I'll have to check my current wip to make sure I'm not being a there offender.

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    1. You can do a "there" search in Word.

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  7. I constantly see expressions like "Now there's only three." I wrote a take-off on the "Ten Little Indians" poem in ninth grade called "Ten Little Hippies," and I used lines like "Now there're only three." Some people complained that it "looked weird," but I insisted it was correct.

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    1. Of course it's correct. I'd love to read Ten Little Hippies. Will it show up on your blog?

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    2. Hm. Probably not. I don't remember all of it, and I don't think I have a copy. It only appeared in an issue of my high school's oddly-named newspaper, The Ledger. (By the way, The Ledger is also the name of another newspaper, published in Florida.)

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    3. I hoped you had kept a copy in your apartment that has nothing in it except one plate, one cup, one fork, one spoon, one knife, and a bed.

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  8. There's a difficult puzzle to solve, so thanks to fishducky I will not be able to attend. Even though my commas would love it if I did.

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    1. Google can tell you when to attend. We'll see you there, Inger.

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  9. Darn! I was hoping for the story. On the other hand, that's a good tip about using 'there' as a subject, something I'm sure I've been guilty of. You asked about edits for the sample sentence. How about "Police officers are crawling all over that crime scene, like ants at a picnic." ☺

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  10. I like it. Thanks. There's always good information to be found here. No, let's try again: Janie Junebug is the best at everything. (<-I think I did well this time. Agree?)

    Love you.

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    1. You are all right, Robyn Alana Engel.

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  11. A SESQUIANNUAL meeting is one that occurs one and a half times every year; equivalently, 3 times every 2 years, or once every 8 months. It comes from the Latin prefix "sesqui-", which means "one and a half times", and "annual", which means "happening once every year".

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    1. I'm sure everyone appreciates your excellent explanation.

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  12. People do screw things up like that-good way to teach this. Yes..um...I never said I was great in Grammar:)

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    1. You're an excellent writer, Birgit, and I love your blog.

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  13. You know so much more about these things then little ole me, just saying

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    1. You know so much more about a lot of things, Jo-Anne!

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  14. Would love to hire you but it would require some actual writing on my part. There's the rub!

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    1. You should write a book about coping with your caregiver role.

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  15. Great tutorial on there and there's.
    I love grammar tips.

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  16. Very good point, Janie. Some stylistic expressions are hard to scrape off.

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  17. What would we do without these tips? We're all lost souls without you. Did I use "we're" correctly? I'm very self conscious now.

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    1. I feel very important now. Thank you, Martha. No need to be self-conscious unless I decide to pick on you, which will never happen.

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  18. Great tip today Janie! "There's" makes me crazy too, when people use it with a plural subject.

    How about "Hikers are crawling all over the crime scene"? Wait, no, that's not right...
    😐

    Good to see you back in action!!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hikers love to crawl all over crime scenes. I see it all the time.

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  19. I love this stuff. I might be biased, though, being a language teacher and all. I know, I'm being vague...

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    1. These posts are my little attempts at teaching.

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