pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

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Fuzzy Thinking Creep

Language deterioration has been a frequent topic for me, but the latest spate of new novelists at Harlequin seem to be matched by an equally incompetent cadre of new editors.

My latest rant comes curtesy of a four hour night and an inability to drop back off to sleep.

The culprit: Try and...

The solution: Try to...

and as a preposition signals a simple list composed of possibly totally unrelated ideas or actions (especially true in the hands of incompetent writers or fuzzy thinking adherents.)

(item/action/thought #1), and (item/action/thought #2).

ex. walk and talk (He/she can't walk and talk at the same time.)

What follows try in good writing is the item/action/thought the thinker/writer/speaker wants to try out/execute/succeed in.

"I don't want to try and fail.  I want to try harder.  I want to try to succeed."

To check an example, put in the [to] understood that is normally omitted. (not [to] try and [to] succeed.) If it sounds dumb, it is.

How dumb is he/she?  He can't walk and chew gum at the same time.
Tags: grammar gaffes
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