Diction Exercise (315)

Edit the following sentences to correct the nonstandard verb usage.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: Dr. Jefferson has been hired to administrate the implementation of Common Core instruction.
Correct : Dr. Jefferson has been hired to administer the implementation of Common Core instruction.

The back formation administrate is nonstandard; it’s an unnecessary coinage as the verb administer already exists.

2.
Original: Although entertainment celebrities are not noted for wide-ranging interests or formal education, they are often asked to commentate on current affairs.
Correct : Although entertainment celebrities are not noted for wide-ranging interests or formal education, they are often asked to comment on current affairs.

The back formation commentate is nonstandard; it’s an unnecessary coinage as the word comment can be used as both noun and verb.

3.
Original: Janey hesitates to accept party invitations because she finds it difficult to conversate with strangers.
Correct : Janey hesitates to accept party invitations because she finds it difficult to converse with strangers.

The back formation conversate is nonstandard; it’s an unnecessary coinage as the verb converse already exists.

4.
Original: Dewayne said he’d get back to us after he dialogues his wife about it.
Correct : Dewayne said he’d get back to us after he talks to his wife about it.

The word dialogue, also spelled dialog, is a noun. It is sometimes used as an intransitive verb with the meaning "to hold a conversation with another person," but this use sounds odd to many speakers. Its use as a transitive verb is definitely nonstandard.

5.
Original: Archie tends to interpretate every little remark as if it might be a criticism of him.
Correct : Archie tends to interpret every little remark as if it might be a criticism of him.

The back formation interpretate is nonstandard; it’s an unnecessary coinage as the verb interpret already exists.

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