Read Part II of "How to Land a Job" -- for free
Part II is "How to Write an Impressive Cover Letter."
I'll post Part II if at least 50 people e-mail me with the correct revision of the sentence in the next paragraph. The sentence appeared in the June 23, 2014, issue of Time magazine in a Joel Stein column about greatness (great horses and great people).
Here is the sentence: "Shortly after encountering greatness, of course, we root for the great to fail because they seem so arrogant by being better than us."
So what's wrong with it (hint: word-use problem)? Send your e-mail through "To contact us." You don't need to use a real name, e-mail address or phone number to reply; concoct one, if you'd rather.
NOTE: I HAVEN'T RECEIVED EVEN ONE ATTEMPT TO ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTION. IF YOU TRY TO ANSWER IT AND ARE INCORRECT, ONLY I WILL KNOW. I PROMISE TO TELL NO ONE ELSE. SO, IF YOU WANT TO READ PART II OF "HOW TO LAND A JOB," PLEASE TRY. THAT'S ALL I ASK. THANKS. JD.
Here is the answer to the above grammatical error: "Shortly after encountering greatness, of course, we root for the great to fail because they seem so arrogant by being better than we."
In other words, "better than we are." Note that I've added the verb "are," though you don't have to.
You shouldn't write "better than us are," which is what the incorrect sentence is implying.
So here's another question, since no one attempted to answer the one above. What's wrong with the following sentence?
"Bill knows more about Spanish than me."
E-mail me your responses through "To contact us."
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About J.D. Vivian
Education: bachelor of arts in journalism; master of arts in literature; both from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton
Employment: English instructor, Florida Atlantic University (full-time);
contributing editor, The Palm Beach Post (part-time), May 1998 to May 2013 (took early retirement)
How I learned good English:
In June 1968, my parents took my two sisters and me to live under Francisco Franco, a Fascist dictator, in Rota, Spain. Dad was serving in the U.S. Navy; Rota was a submarine base west of Gibraltar (a British colony in North Africa). We had one TV station — which was controlled by the government and in Spanish only. So we had to ... are you ready for this? READ! Yes, we had to become well-acquainted with printed words. (We had no Internet, or cell phones, or even answering machines back then, either.) We lived in Spain for more than three years. During that time, I read a lot and thus learned a lot about mechanics, grammar and good writing.