What Kind of a Fool?

In Good Grammer: Them's the Rules on January 31, 2015 at 3:32 pm

What Kind of a Fool?

Devotees of old Broadway show tunes still remember this: What Kind of Fool am I? from Stop the World-I Want to get off. [1962] It later was a big hit song for Sammy Davis, Jr.

From WordPlay’s point of view, this song could serve also as a good “object lesson” in a finer point of English usage. It happens rarely, but the song writer got it right.*

It would be wrong to ask “What Kind of A Fool Am I?”


*Sammy’s song, Who Can I Turn To? goes awry grammatically.  To Whom Can I Turn? would be proper, but it might not be “cool.”







Us the People

In Good Grammer: Them's the Rules on December 5, 2014 at 3:13 am

Us the People

The U.S. Constitution’s “Preamble,” thank goodness, is still familiar to many Americans as of 2014.

“We the People” are three words fiom the Preamble heard most often. Ah, patriotism…It’s a good thing, right?

Well… As used in the Preamble, “We the People…” is just fine. It’s the subject of its sentence.

Where many go wrong, however, is in using these three words as an object.

Example: “Here in America, the real power lies with we the people.”

It should be thus: “Here in America, the real power lies with us, the people.”



The Situation is Worse than We’ve Been Let to Believe

In Good Grammer: Them's the Rules on November 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm

More mistakes from our misguided media…

The situation is worse that we’ve been let to believe

 I don’t prescribe to that idea.

We’re in the thralls of summer

 With its new Chess Hall of Fame, St. Louis is becoming the new epic center of the chess world.