Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'll stay out only until 2:50

Really, ACES presenters don't come much better than Merrill Perlman. Her "If I Knew Only" session was a spot-on refresher course on some of the errors we are most likely to encounter -- where to put the "only," that vs. which, due to vs. because of, dangling modifiers, who vs. whom, etc.

She had a great anecdote -- not original to her, she said -- about how the placement of "only" can change the meaning of a sentence. Take "I hit him in the eye yesterday." Now add only and watch the nuance go!
Only I hit him in the eye yesterday
I only hit him in the eye yesterday.
I hit only him in the eye yesterday.
I hit him only in the eye yesterday.
I hit him in only the eye yesterday.
Etc. A fun exercise.

Her two worksheets (one you can fill out as you go along, one that serves as an answer key that you get on the way out) were great for taking the lessons back to the newsroom. As Chris said in the opening: What happens in Miami should not stay in Miami.

Speaking of: The bar across the street, Mike's, is open till 3. Dangerous.

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