Tutor on Grammar: The One True Way

There’s an idea to write down. “This is what I wrote, is that fine?”  It’s question that I get a lot by nervous people who think writing is just too hard, and can’t possibly be done correctly by an insecure nervous writer. Here’s the secret: There IS NO ONE TRUE WAY.

Especially when discussing the qualities of a gentleman, from the perspective of a Catholic Cardinal who was made a saint in 2010. Apparently, the True Gentleman was a Social Justice Warrior before the term was invented.

social-justice-warrior“[I]t is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. … He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him

 

There are multiple ways of expressing he same idea, and almost all are correct. For example:

All these qualities are rare to find in a man these days.

  • All these qualities are rarely combined in a man these days.
  • It is rare to find the complete set of qualities in a man these days.
  • it is rare to find all of the above qualities in one person these days.
  • But you cannot use ‘to focus’ the infinitive form before a preposition.

A gentleman does not focus only on himself.  He is to focus on others.

  • He is focused on
  • He focuses on
  • His focus is on
  • But you cannot use ‘to focus’ the infinitive form before a preposition.

 

On the other hand, shifting the apostrophe is important:

  • He is focused on other’s feelings
    • the feelings of only one other
  • He is focused on others’ feelings
    • the feelings of many others.

 

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