Archive for the 'movies' Category

Tom and a Pronoun Person Shift

June 5, 2006

Tom Cruise will be reenacting a scene from Mission Impossible:III for the film's Japanese premiere. He will amaze fans as he is chased in a speedboat by a helicopter, and he will commandeer a train and meet with you on board during the trip from Osaka to Tokyo.

The second sentence contains a pronoun error. The sentence describes the interaction between Tom and his fans. The first clause establishes the relationship between the subject (Tom) and the object (fans), but the second clause uses the second person pronoun (you) to refer to with whom Tom will meet. Avoid this shift in pronoun person by changing "you" to "them."

Tom Cruise will be reenacting a scene from Mission Impossible:III for the film's Japanese premiere. He will amaze fans as he is chased in a speedboat by a helicopter, and he will commandeer a train and meet with them on board during the trip from Osaka to Tokyo.

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The Da Vinci Code, Sofia Coppola’s Marie-Antoinette, and an Error in Subject/Verb Agreement

May 25, 2006

Neither Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code nor Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette were well-received at the Cannes Film Festival, as film critics booed during the screening of each film.

This sentence contains an error in subject/verb agreement. When subjects in a sentence are linked by the correlative conjunctions "neither/nor," the subject that is closer to the verb determines the number of the verb. The "neither/nor" pairing of two singular subjects does not use a plural verb.

In this sentence, the subject closer to the verb "were" is "Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette." Titles of works (such as books, plays, and movies) are singular, so the verb in this sentence should be singular. Change "were" to "was" to correct this sentence.

Neither Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code nor Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette was well-received at the Cannes Film Festival, as film critics booed during the screening of each film.

A simple trick to use when determining agreement in sentences that contain the correlative conjunctions "either/or" and "neither/nor" is to cross off all the words from "either" (or "neither") to "or" (or "nor"). The subject will now stand out, making it easier to match its number with that of the verb.

Neither Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code nor Sofia Coppola's Marie-Antoinette was well-received at the Cannes Film Festival, as film critics booed during the screening of each film.

The Da Vinci Code and an Error in Parallelism

May 17, 2006

Critics at the Cannes Film Festival did not seem to enjoy The Da Vinci Code: they laughed at overly melodramatic scenes, whistled and hissed during the credits, and there was no applause at the end.

This sentence contains an error in parallelism. The list of the three things that happened in response to the movie contains two verb phrases and one clause. A list of similar items in a sentence should be structured with similar parts of speech.

The two verb phrases are "laughed at overly melodramatic scenes" and "whistled and hissed during the credits." These describe what the subject, "they," did. The final item in the list, "there was no applause at the end," is a clause. It should be rewritten as a verb phrase to give the sentence parallel structure.

Critics at the Cannes Film Festival did not seem to enjoy The Da Vinci Code: they laughed at overly melodramatic scenes, whistled and hissed during the credits, and did not applaud at the end.

M:i:III and a Faulty Comparison

May 14, 2006

The opening-day revenues for "Mission Impossible:III" were less than "Mission Impossible:II."

This sentence is incorrect because it contains a faulty comparison. What is being compared in this sentence? Revenues are compared to a movie; this is not logical. Revenues should be compared to revenues. Revise the sentence so that the comparison makes sense:

The opening-day revenues for "Mission Impossible:III" were less than the debut revenues for "Mission Impossible:II."