Dr John’s Grammar Quiz #22


Grammar Quiz #21 was another Shakespearean puzzler. Deborah pointed out the awkwardness of “honoring an honor” with which I must agree. A more complex problem presents itself, however: The writer meant that the laws are broken more than they are obeyed. This is a common misinterpretation. But Hamlet, who said it first, meant something else. He described his step-father’s boozy carryings on as a custom “more honored in the breach than in the observance.” He meant it was a bad custom, more honored when violated, than when followed.

Dr. John’s Grammar Quiz #22: Can you spot the glaring grammatical error in this sentence? “Since the Stevenson bridge was destroyed in the recent flood, the installation of a new guard rail is moot.”

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