Football Burp’s very own Jermaine Pedant enjoys nothing more than strolling back and forth in his professor’s gown, casting scholarly gazes over his fellow professionals’ online scribblings.
Each week, he homes in on a few choice instances of common grammatical failings and raps on them repeatedly with his disciplinary cane until we’ve all jolly well learnt to treat the Queen and her English with the utmost respect. Read on for this week’s lessons…
The West Ham United new boy had some words of thanks for those he shall be leaving behind at Old Trafford…
Jermaine Pedant says: You’ve had some negative press during your young life, Ravel, but I would personally like to commend you for your exemplary use of an apostrophe in “who’s”. Many a senior professional has tried and failed to get that right, so well done. It is unfortunate, then, that you had to tarnish this good work by replacing the word “through” with an incorrect homophone. Allow me to demonstrate the difference using a real life incident that just so happened to involve your good self:
Ravel Morrison threw his girlfriend’s mobile phone through the window.
Ravel Morrison through his girlfriend’s mobile phone threw the window.
Can you tell me which one of the above is correct? I’ll give you a clue: ‘through’ can be used in reference to physical movement (eg. “through the window”) as well as in reference to a passage of time (eg. “through my years at Manchester United”), while ‘threw’ is the ‘simple past’ (or, to us academic types, the ‘preterite’) tense of ‘throw’.
As I’m in good humour this afternoon, I shall overlook the muddled tense application of “I have a good time”. In fact, I shall even go as far as to give you the benefit of the doubt that you intended to use the present perfect form – namely “I have had a good time” – but were foiled by a simple typo. Just be on your guard in future.
The Queens Park Rangers midfielder was brimming with the joys of fatherhood on this fine morning…
Jermaine Pedant says: Oh, Joey, Joey, Joey! Your pride is heart-warming, your wee one adorable, and your reinvention of your public image inspiring. However, your use of apostrophes is as wayward as your erstwhile indiscretions. We use an apostrophe followed by an s in order to indicate either the possessive form (eg. “Joey’s Twitter account”) or to indicate a missing letter (eg. “Joey’s writing for The Times” rather than “Joey is writing for The Times”). We never use it to indicate the plural, as you have done on not one but two occasions – namely “photo’s (sic)” and “Galactico’s (sic)” in this series of otherwise pleasant missives. Oh, and he did get his mother’s looks. You’re a bright guy, Joey, but you can never stop learning. If you like, we can go over this again when you come to the Britannia Stadium on May 5th.
Thinking on, Joey, I think I may have identified the source of your confusion; Queens Park Rangers, as your club is officially known, seems like it should contain an apostrophe but resolutely does not. We can only assume that Queens is the name of the park, and that it was not named out of recognition of, or deference to, Her Majesty’s ownership. Can any of our readers elucidate further on this matter?
The young Everton centre-back was quick to welcome a returning hero back to the club…
Jermaine Pedant says: Disappointing, though, to see that you’re yet to get to grips with Steven’s surname, young man! A fine mess of it you’ve made there, and I’d be interested to hear how you pronounce it. Your recent performances in the heart of David Moyes’ defence have been very encouraging, but your grasp of basic homophones could still use a little brushing up. I’d be happy to explain it to you if you’re finding it too much to handle, and anything else you may be having trouble with too. Now, would you like me to help you compose a farewell Tweet for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov?
The young Everton midfielder, on loan at Tranmere Rovers, cracked wise about the not-exactly-abundant pace of fellow Toffees Phil Neville and Jose Baxter…
Jermaine Pedant says: Good grief, what are they teaching you young ‘uns at Goodison? ‘Must of’ is an infuriatingly common misapplication of ‘must have’, but you couldn’t even get the wrong version right! I could factor in the unlikelihood of that particular race being the slowest ever, thus rendering you incorrect on three different levels, but I accept that this would cross over into the unpalatable realms of superpedantry. And believe me, no-one wants to see that.
The Swansea City hit man was glued to his screen as the transfer window slammed shut yesterday…
Jermaine Pedant says:
The Manchester United midfielder has been looking for ways to occupy himself while out with an ankle injury…
Jermaine Pedant says: You could end up sleeping with the fishes for that! Do they say that in The Sopranos? I don’t know, I don’t watch it. Nor have I time to now that I appear to be back in Tony Pulis’ first team plans. Speaking of which, must dash off for set piece practice. Class dismissed!
Tune in every Wednesday for more from Football Burp’s very own Jermaine Pedant!