Faulty Connections Flashcards Preview

Mastering English Grammar > Faulty Connections > Flashcards

Flashcards in Faulty Connections Deck (18)
Loading flashcards...
1

Since dealings with a custodian bank are usually in writing, whether local or out of town, the only difference is a lag of a few days.

It is the bank that is in or out of town, but the word order suggests that the adjectives modify writing (the nearest noun) or, if not, dealings (the more prominent of the earlier nouns).

To revise, you nee only move the words around:

Since dealings with a custodian bank, whether local or out of town, are usually in writing, the only difference is a lag of a few days.

2

The superintendent of the Ossining Correctional Facility found the communitiy's desire to preserve part of the prison amusing.

The superintendent of the Ossining Correctional Facility was amused by the community's desire to preserve part of the prison.

Or:

The superintendent...found it amusing that the community wanted to preserve part of the prison.

Note: Amusing cannot follow desire, the word it modifies, because the initive phrase claims the same spot; placed after found, it would seem to take desire as its object. So you would have to restructure the sentence.

3

The superintendent of the Ossining Correctional Facility found the community's desire to preserve part of the prison amusing.

The superintendent of the Ossining prison was amused by the community's desire to desire to preserve

Or:

The superintendent...found it amusing that the community wanted...

Rule: An adjective modifying the of object of a verb expressing opinion comes after the word it modifies. But if the modifier cannot follow the object directly, the sentence may be hard to read and need to be restructured.

4

Lightweight and packable, Mom will find this comfortable flattering robe indispensable

A dangler: Introductory adjectives should modify the subject of the sentence (or the sentence as a whole).

Try instead:

Lightweight and packable, this comfortable flattering robe will delight Mom and prove indispensable for travel.

Or:

Mom will find this lightweigh, packable robe comfortable, flattering, and indispensable for travel.

 

5

More (important/importantly) she finished ahead of schedule.

Either adjective or adverb form works.

This is a matter of idiom, not grammar; let your ear guide you.

Both adjectives and adverbs can function as sentence modifiers.

6

Critics have raised doubts about attempts to interpret Kleist's response precisely because his skeptical statements obscure his thoughts.

Fault: adverb placement

Following an infinitive and preceding an adverbial clause, precisely can modify either.

A solution: Reverse the order of the main and subordinate clauses (or consider omitting the offending adverb).

Because Kleist's skeptical statements obscure his thoughts, critics have raised doubts about attempts to interpret his response precisely.

7

Their willingness to work constantly amazed me.

I constantly marveled at their willingness to work

Their willing and constant labor amazed me.

8

What you do primarily determines what you are.

Fault: Squinting Adverb.

  1. What primarily do determines what you are.
  2. Your activities primarily determine what you are.

A common fix: subsitute a noun for one of the two verb forms, since an adverb cannot modify a noun.

9

The newspaper has been around since 1870, but its editorial style is as aggressive as a publication started yesterday.

Comparison fault: As written, the comparison is between a style and a publication. The sentence should read

...its editorial style is as aggressive as THAT OF a publication started yesterday.

The fix: This sort of inexact comparison can usually be corrected by adding that of or those of to provide balance to the left-hand side of the comparison.

10

Salary levels for bank portfolio managers are at least a third less than investment managers in brokerage houses.

Faulty comparison: Salary levels and investment managers are being compared. Change to

...are at least a third less than THOSE FOR investment managers...

To fix: This sort of inexact comparison can usually be corrected by adding that of or those of to provide balance to the left-hand side of the comparison.

Faulty comparison involves elements that, while they may be compatible (parallel) in form, are incompatible in substance. Remember: You can only compare like things.

Use parallel construction for elements that are compared and contrasted.

11

New York's taxes are higher than most other states.

Faulty comparison: taxes is compared with states.

Fix: Add an apostrophe to make the sentence logical, since taxes would be implicit after the possessive. Alternatively, you could add those of, but never use it with the possessive—redundant!

New York's taxes are higher than most other states'.

New York's taxes are higher than those of most other states.

12

Butte's downfall may be similar to that of Detroit's.

Butte's downfall may be similar to Detroit's.

It is redundant to use that of plus the possessive. Here the possessive works better because the demonstrative pronoun refers to the whole phrase Butte's downfall, not just downfall. [Cook, p70]

 

13

 Japanese workers fear automation less than their American counterparts.

Japanese workers fear automation less than their American counterparts do.

A comparison is open to misinterpretation if it fails to indicate whether the word that follows than or as contrasts with the subject or the object of the preceding clause.

You can usually clarify the meaning by adding a verb (as above), or a subject and verb, to the second part of the comparison.

14

The mayor considers the vigilantes more threatening than the criminals.

The mayor considers the vigilantes more threatening than she does the criminals.

The original could mean either that the mayor finds the vigilantes more threatening than she does criminals or that she finds them more threatening than the criminals do.

A comparison is open to misinterpretation if it fails to indicate whether the word that follows than or as contrasts with the subject or the object of the preceding clause.

You can usually clarify the meaning by adding a verb, or a subject and verb (as above), to the second part of the comparison.

15

The book deals more with the wonders of high technology than the implications of labor.

The book deals more with the wonders of high technology than with the implications of labor.

Sometimes you only need a preposition to show how the right-hand element fits into the sentence. The one-word addition provides an elliptical clause, enabling readers to understand an implicit subject and verb.

16

Our earnings last year were slightly higher than 1979.

Our earnings last year were slightly higher than in 1979.

Sometimes you only need a preposition to show how the right-hand element fits into the sentence. The one-word addition provides an elliptical clause, enabling readers to understand an implicit subject and verb. [Cook, p70]

17

We imported more oil from Saudi Arabia than Mexico.

We imported more oil from Saudi Arabia than from Mexico.

Faulty comparison: The original could mean either Saudi Arabia supplied more than Mexico did or that we imported more oil than Mexico.

Sometimes you only need a preposition to show how the right-hand element fits into the sentence. The one-word addition provides an elliptical clause, enabling readers to understand an implicit subject and verb.

 

18

The report on credit explains why lending institutions may regard ownership of an old car more favorably than a new one.

Faulty comparison. The sentence illogically compares ownership and new one.

But you can't correct it by adding that of, because that remedy only serves when the of phrase shows possession. Here you can't say the ownership of a car; ownership does not belong to a car.

Instead, restate the comparison so it involves the two terms that naturally contrast with each other, an old car and a new one. [Cook, p72]

The report explains why owning an old car rather than a new one may be in your favor when you apply for credit.