Friday, August 28, 2015

“Is Your Grammar Holding You Back?”

A quiz by Bryan Garner: “Is Your Grammar Holding You Back?” (Harvard Business Review ).

One of the quiz’s ten sentences (I’ll leave it for the reader to figure out which one) is troublesome: the quiz says the sentence is grammatically incorrect, but Garner’s Modern American Usage marks the idiom in question as Stage 5, “Fully accepted.” I’m scoring myself ten of ten.


1:31 p.m.: The sentence that tripped me up is no. 7. I e-mailed Bryan Garner about it, and he changed the scoring. (Is he a diligent guy, or what?) The answer for no. 7 now begins: “This sentence is grammatically correct, but you’ll get a point for either response,” with an explanation following. So ten for ten!

Related reading
All OCA Bryan Garner posts (Pinboard)

comments: 2

Chris said...

I scored 9 out of 10, missing one I read too quickly. I'm guessing that "we not only raised our regional market share but also our profit margin" (which I answered "correctly") is the debatable one.

Michael Leddy said...

I thought that “The clerk couldn’t help but call the manager” is grammatically correct, but the quiz says the opposite. Garner’s Modern American Usage says that “cannot help but” is fully accepted.