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Letters to the Editor

Proper usage, please

| Friday, June 10, 2016, 8:57 p.m.

I graduated from a small Catholic high school in 1963. English was by far my worst subject. In my first year in college, I was required to take two semesters of English. I barely passed both. Now I find myself noting common errors. One is saying someone did something instead of saying something was done. For example, someone broke into a home in Sheraden, instead of a home was broken into in Sheraden.

Another one that drives me crazy is using the word amount instead of number. For example, the amount of troops needed in Syria, instead of the number of troops needed. Amount refers to things that are fungible, like the amount of gasoline required to go 500 miles for a particular car. Another is using an adjective instead of the noun. One of the best examples: the Democratic convention instead of the Democrat convention. Use of the word busted instead of broken or smashed or shattered. There are others to numerous to mention here.

Basic things I learned way back in high school make me feel like a Ph.D. in English today. It illustrates how far we've come in the denigration of our education system.

Harvey Bower

Mt. Lebanon

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