The Grammar Factor – October, 2011

Tenses

Reader’s question: If someone says they ‘text a person’, I see ‘text’ as past tense. What I hear though is people saying: ‘I texted the person.’ Is ‘text’ or ‘texted’ correct?

Similar to this is the word ‘forecast’. This is past tense, but many people say ‘forecasted’. Is this acceptable?

Answer: ‘Text’ started life as a noun and we’ve turned it into a verb with the advent of mobile phones.

She texted him her phone number.
I’ll text you the phone number tomorrow.

You can use either ‘forecasted’ or ‘forecast’ as past tense. ‘Forecast’ started life as a verb and was first used as a noun in 1535.

Website copyright

Reader’s question: What is the correct style for writing copyright on websites?

Answer: Copyright on websites is usually added by the designer and the formatting varies.

The variations I see include:

  • © Company name
  • © Person’s name, year, e.g. 2010
  • Placed bottom left or bottom right
  • ‘All rights reserved’ added

The only thing that seems to remain constant is the copyright symbol! Can anyone tell me which is the preferred method?

‘Appreciate it if’ or ‘appreciate if’

Reader’s question: With the colloquial expression ‘appreciate’, should I say:

I would appreciate it if you would reply by Friday.

or

I would appreciate if you would reply by Friday.

Answer: ‘Appreciate it’ is more correct because ‘appreciate’ is a transitive verb and so needs an object. An example of an intransitive verb that doesn’t need an object is ‘I slept’.

To die for?

A video link sent by a reader: http://youtu.be/RJ0l_vPyUmg

Reader’s pet peeve

 ‘Alternate’ used in place of ‘alternative’.

Quote of the month

‘The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.’
Samuel Johnson

 
 

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