Sunday, April 01, 2012

Grammatically speaking and number

I have often been critical of the "Grammatically Speaking" columns put out occasionally by TESOL, but the most recent is, I think clear, accurate, and interesting. It looks at the the question of why we say zero degrees instead of zero degree. Something I've brought up here before.

Schmitt points out that the terms plural and singular may be misleading, and suggests singular and nonsingular. This I think, is a useful approach.

As for his brain teaser, these usually strike me as fairly obvious, but this time, I have no idea what the issue is. Any insight?

Look at the two example sentences below. Explain what grammatical holdover they illustrate and suggest how a teacher might teach this to a language class.
  1. Here's why working at home is both a curse and a blessing.
  2. In particular, Biden cited the billions of dollars in government financial support for U.S. automakers during the recession as an example of the differing approaches between the parties.


The Ridger, FCD said...

While I'm not sure, I think that he's looking at the -ING forms. Originally verbal, now a substantive and a modifier.

Otherwise I have no clue either.

Brett Reynolds said...

Could be...