Archive for the 'Brad Pitt' Category

Celebrity English

June 29, 2006

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Angelina, Brad, and an Error in Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement

June 12, 2006

A Namibian official announced that Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and their children have left Africa. Their destination remains an enigma to reporters seeking to follow the family wherever they may go.

The second sentence contains an error in pronoun/antecedent agreement. The antecedent "family" is a collective noun that is singular in this context because the family is going as a single unit. The referent pronoun "they" is plural. Change the referent pronoun's number to singular to correct the error.

A Namibian official announced that Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and their children have left Africa. Their destination remains an enigma to reporters seeking to follow the family wherever it may go.

Shiloh, Angelina, Brad, and a Misplaced Modifier

June 3, 2006

A personalized pacifier company sent a $17,000 binky to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt covered in diamonds. If Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were to donate an equivalent amount of money to charity, they would be able to pay for 10,000 safe-delivery kits for women who live in regions without hospitals or clinics.

The first sentence contains a misplaced modifier. Since the phrase "covered in diamonds" immediately follows "Shiloh Nouvel Pitt-Jolie," it appears to describe the baby instead of the binky. Shiloh is probably not covered in diamonds (or else she is most likely very uncomfortable). The binky is covered in diamonds. To correct the sentence, move the modifier closer to the word it modifies.

A personalized pacifier company sent a $17,000 binky covered in diamonds to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. If Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were to donate an equivalent amount of money to charity, they would be able to pay for 10,000 safe-delivery kits for women who live in regions without hospitals or clinics.

Angelina, Brad, and an Error in Punctuation

May 30, 2006

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donated $300,000 to Namibian hospitals, and $15,000 to a community center in Swakopmund.

This sentence contains an error in punctuation. The verb "donated" has a compound object, the two components of which are "$300,000 to Namibian hospitals" (direct object = "$300,000"; indirect object = "Namibian hospitals") and "$15,000 to a community center in Swakopmund" (direct object = "$15,000"; indirect object = "community center in Swakopmund"). Do not use a comma to separate the two elements of a compound subject or object.

The sentence should be punctuated as follows:

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donated $300,000 to Namibian hospitals and $15,000 to a community center in Swakopmund.

Brad, Britney, and a Faulty Comparison

May 24, 2006

Are Brad Pitt's parenting skills as bad as Britney Spears? When he took his infant daughter on a bike ride, she did not wear a helmet and she was carried in a baby-pack that has instructions that warn against using it while riding a bike.

The first sentence contains a faulty comparison. What is being compared? The comparison is between "parenting skills" and "Britney Spears." A person should not be compared to skills. Skills should be compared to skills.

Modify the sentence to create a comparison that is logical:

Are Brad Pitt's parenting skills as bad as Britney Spears' child-rearing abilities?

or

Are Brad Pitt's parenting skills as bad as those of Britney Spears?

Angelina, Brad, and an Error in Diction: imminent/eminent

May 23, 2006

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have become imminent figures in Namibia: half of the Namibians who voted in a poll believe that the day that Angelina gives birth should be declared a national holiday.

This sentence contains an error in diction. The word "imminent," which means "likely to happen in the near future," is often confused with the word "eminent," which means "famous and admired." Fix the sentence by replacing "imminent" with "eminent."

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have become eminent figures in Namibia: half of the Namibians who voted in a poll believe that the day that Angelina gives birth should be declared a national holiday.