Hard Questions Even Grammar Enthusiasts Cannot Answer

Have you ever been involved in a  grammar discrepancy that let to a seemingly unsolvable argument? Do not fret. There are some very difficult grammatical questions that just do not have one correct answer. Time to agree to disagree.

Once interesting phrase this article analyzes: This is one of those things that drives me crazy
One may point out: should it not be, “This is one of those things that drive me crazy”?
Do we agree the verb “drive” with the word “one” or the word “things”?

Let us divide this phrase in two different ways and see if we can answer this question:

This is one [of those things] that drives me crazy

OR

This is one of [those things that drive me crazy]

Depending on how you parse the sentence, both instances of the phrase work grammatically, so you do not have to worry about having said it wrong your entire life.

Another interesting question posed in the article is, what do we do about plurals of foreign words borrowed by the English language?
Take the word conundrum. According to the Latin plural form it should be conundra, yet we tend to say, conundrums.
Another example: “Do you often post on gaming fora?” “No, gaming forums are not for me”
On the other hand: “Did you collect the datums for our experiment?” “Yes, I have the data right here”

Our plural conjugations may be inconsistent, but grammar does not demand that we use any one specific rule. What is most commonly used becomes most correct, though maybe only socially.

To read the rest of the article please click the link below. Its comic tone makes it both interesting and fun to read.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2015/03/johnson-grammar?zid=319&ah=17af09b0281b01505c226b1e574f5cc1

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