Spotting frequent grammar errors

Ray Mosley has written two columns on grammar in your paper, which as a former writer, I particularly enjoyed. However, neither mentioned any of the mistakes which seem to be so commonly accepted (but not by the Oxford Dictionary the last time I checked several year ago.)

First is the use of an impersonal pronoun when referring to a person. We see "the man that" so many times rather than the correct personal pronoun "who" which is ued anytime it refers to a person.

The second is "the reason why." No why is needed as that is part of the meaning of reason.

Third is the word "over," used often for more than. Over is like a cloud that is over us or a tent that is over us – not over 20 miles away but more than 20 miles way. 

Fourth is something that is "nearly unique" or "almost unique." Unique means "one of a kind." It is unique or not unique. There is no between.

Joe Clay Hamilton


P.S. Many thanks to Mattie Thornton, 3rd Grade Teacher and Hattie Dearman 4th Grade Teacher at Marion Park School in the mid 30s and Bessie Smith at Meridian High School in the mid 40s.

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