January 19, 2009

Grammar in News


Today morning I decided to check my bike as it was months ago last I went to a service hub. While my bike was being repaired, I sat inside the customer lounge.  As I had prior experience of delay and boredom, I had gone there with my favorite newspaper ‘The Times of India.’   While going through the pages of the newspaper, all of a sudden I started ogling an editorial item from grammatical angle.  So what I did later, you might want to see.  I have tried to post everything that I did. 
So, first read the item completely.  While reading mark the underline items as I would be grammaring about those items after the complete story. 
Once upon a time, kings or queens were sworn in with a great deal of pomp and ceremony.  In that sense, US president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20 will hark back to those times.  But while the monarchy conducted a carefully orchestrated show designed to awe commoners into obedience, Obama’s swearing in has the moods of a party, with millions of people descending upon Washington to celebrate the new American president.  Obama’s inaugural committee has succeeded in making the ceremony one of the most anticipated political events in years, with everything from local inauguration parties to rock concerts with some of music’s biggest names enjoying wall-to-wall media coverage both in America and around the world. 
Obama’s meticulously planned inauguration celebration displays, yet again, the man’s media savvy. Channeling Abrqaham Lincoln, Obama kicked off his three states ‘whistle stop tour’ on Saturday in Philadelphia, mirroring Lincoln’s 1861 journey by train to Washington.  He set off a four day inaugural celebration of unprecedented ambition.  The celebration beginning with the trip and culmination in the official balls after the swearing in is aimed at allowing as many people as possible to participate in it.  What is remarkable is the number of people who are expected to brave the inhospitable Washington weather to stand in long queues and listen to their president.  There’ll be even more people watching from the comfort of their homes on television or on the internet. 
Here I am.  Please follow the underline words or group of words carefully and read the description below.
Once upon a time:  You might be aware of this expression, aren’t you?  All stories seem to begin with this expression.  And by using this expression a writer only want to say about something about past.  So, here also the editor has wanted to say something about past.  He has talked about the pomp and ceremony swearing in ceremony of kings and queens.  Refer back the editor has used the auxiliary verb ‘Were’ to agree with the expression of ‘Once upon a time.’  He has also used the past participle of the main verb swear as sworn. 
Pomp and ceremony: These two words go along in situation like this.  Pomp: (Noun) the special clothes, music and customs that form a grand public ceremony.  Ceremony: (Noun)    A formal religious or public occasion celebrating an event.  ‘Pomp and show’ is also used with similar meaning. 
President-elect:  many think that the word elect should be elected and like the majority of adjective it should come before the noun President and the complete expression should be like ‘elected president.’  But the reality is that the expression is completely right. 
Carefully:  carefully is an Adverb and it says about the verb Conducted. 
Orchestrated: This is an Adjective and not a past participle as it ends with ~ed.  It talks about the Noun Show. 
Washington to celebrate the new American president: here something lacking.  I would like to rewrite the sentence as; Obama’s swearing in has the moods of a party, with millions of people descending upon Washington to celebrate the new American president.  An occasion is celebrated which is the swearing in ceremony of Obama as the new president of the US.  To celebrate the swearing in ceremony of the new American President.  Here the sentence is written means something like people are celebrating the new president.  A person is never celebrated. 
One of:  When we use expression like ‘One of’ it should be remembered that the Noun it talks of should be in plural and in this case the noun ‘Events’ agrees with the expression. 
The most: Here the use of article ‘the’ shows that it is but a superlative degree ‘most anticipated.’
Meticulously: the main word i.e. the noun is Meticulous and here only ~ly is added to make it an Adverb.  It says something about the verb ‘planned.’
Kicked off: In football match it means to start or restart a match with a kick from the centre spot.  From football the expression has made inroad into general vocabulary and it means to start.  In football it is a practice to start the ball rolling when a player kicks a ball from the center spot.  Here only past tense of kick is used. (Kicked) 
Mirroring: This is nothing but converting the Noun Mirror to Verb by adding one of highly used suffix ~ing.  You cannot find this kind of conversion in dictionaries but English is so flexible that anything is possible as far as vocabulary is concerned.  Even I have used one /grammarring/ that is underlined by the Microsoft Word 2007.  But I don’t care for the red line as I always do so and stick to it when I see the word conveys the intended meaning. 
Set off: begin a journey or campaign.  Set out also means the same thing. 
Unprecedented: the root word Precedent that means an example.  Un~ is a prefix that is used to make something negative.   Here ~ed is used to make it an Adjective as it says something about the noun ‘Ambition.’
The:  here the article ‘The’ is used as a back reference as the event that it refers to is quoted earlier.
Brave: here the noun brave is used as a verb.    
Inhospitable:  Here also the main word is hospital the suffix ~able is used to make it an Adjective.  The prefix ~in is used here to make antonym of ‘hospitable.’   We use prefix like ~un, ~in, ~dis to make a Synonym of a word.  There are no fixed rules regarding the use of these prefixes to make Antonyms but it is after consistent association with English vocabularies our minds pick up the words and their prefixes. 
People:  This is a plural noun that does not take any ~s for plural.  So we use it in plural and verb agrees with ‘people.’  But there is an exception where people become peoples.  Person is a related word that we use in singular. 
People @ As a common Noun ‘a people’ means ‘a nation.’  It can be used in both singular and plural:-
·         The Americans are net savvy people. (Singular)
·         There are many different peoples in Africa. (Plural)
@People Source: English Grammar Composition and Usage by J.C. Nesfield.
The Editorial Item is being used here only for the purpose of grammar and no any commercial intent is in it.  The times of India, dated the 19th January, 2009. 
I have tried to parse each item according to my knowledge and experience and if you find any mistakes then please feel free to counter my opinion.  Also feel free to give a piece of your brain, if you like to do so.  My mail id can be found somewhere else in the site or inside my ‘About me.’  So till the next lesson it is bye-bye to you. 
Thank you. 

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