Grammar Friday

Today’s two grammar tips:

  • Never use the words “reason” and “why” in the same sentence, as in, “The reason why I was late is that I missed the bus.” The reason is the why, so it’s redundant to say “the reason why ….” Just say, “The reason I was late is that I missed the bus.” If you feel you need a word to follow “reason,” use “that,” which introduces essential clauses. You can also convey the same thought with fewer words: “I was late because I missed the bus.”
  • If something is ironic, it’s the opposite of what is expected, appropriate or fitting. It would be ironic if a center for the disabled had no wheelchair access ramp. It’s interesting and amusing, but not ironic, that George W. Bush is right-handed and a Republican and Bill Clinton is left-handed and a Democrat.

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