Though careful reader Robin correctly pointed out a spelling error in the headline of another Dr. John post (She’s right, it’s “dollop” not “dollup”), she didn’t weigh in on Quiz #19.
Can’t blame her, it was tricky. There’s a middle pedal on the piano that makes the music soft. It’s called the “soft pedal.” A noun. We need the verb form, and that’s written with a hyphen: “to soft-pedal” means to downplay or make less obvious.
Dr. John’s Grammar Quiz # 20: Careful writers (and Shakespeare fans) can you spot the glaring grammatical error in this sentence? “If you want to gild the lily, you could add herbs or minced garlic to the cheese layer.”