Spot the Errors: A Writing Analysis, Part 3
John H. Ridge, J.D., Ph.D. Fort Collins, Colorado
The best way to improve our reading comprehension is to read. The best way to improve our writing is to write. And the best way to learn to spot and correct grammatical errors is to... you guessed it... spot and correct errors. This year we are practicing these skills through a series of articles containing exercises designed to help us improve in these two areas. This is the third article in the series.
Each of the examples below includes one or more grammatical or punctuation errors. Let's see if we can spot the errors and correct them.
1. The senior lawyer said to the intern, "After you complete the document review, please set up a meeting with Jesse and I to discuss your findings."
2. The senior partner is knowledgeable in several areas of law, i.e., estate planning, federal tax, and business formation.
3. The court staff (e.g., the judge, the clerk, the reporter, and the bailiff) is on summer holiday.
4. Either Jesse or Jeremy are helping with discovery on the hit-and-run case.
5. Westlaw and Lexis is research tools that help lawyers develop an understanding of the law.
6. Daniel (with the help of his paralegal) are trying a case in front of Judge Judy.
7. The contract lawyer, as well as two interns, were assigned the case involving the politician's aide.
8. The witness testified, 'We were exiting the newly bricked road at 11 a.m. when we heard the defendant scream, "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too.'"
9. The prosecutor said, "the evidence will show that the defendant struck the victim during the robbery."
10. The elder partner ran ten miles further than the young associate.
11. The judge rejected the young man's argument that he would loose his job if he were forced to appear as a juror.
12. The witness testified that the defendant had less drinks than the plaintiff.
1. This sentence provides a good example of the misuse of the subject pronoun "I" in the prepositional phrase "with Jesse and I." Because the pronoun is the object of the preposition "with," the writer should have used the object pronoun "me" and said, "...please set up a meeting with Jesse and me to discuss your findings."
2. There are two Latin abbreviations that are frequently misused: e.g. and...