Usage Exercise (754)

In each of the following sentences, replace one or more words mistakenly used in place of others.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The utility district’s list was comprised of customers penalized for using more than about 1,000 gallons of water per day.
Correct : The utility district’s list consisted of customers penalized for using more than about 1,000 gallons of water per day.

"Consisted of" is the proper usage for referring to the parts that constitute a whole.

2.
Original: Some varieties of established adult trees are growing more slowly, while seedlings that require more water are dying all together.
Correct : Some varieties of established adult trees are growing more slowly, while seedlings that require more water are dying altogether.

The synonym for "entirely" is "altogether."

3.
Original: Smith seemed to be a shoe-in for the candidacy, but Jones scored an upset.
Correct : Smith seemed to be a shoo-in for the candidacy, but Jones scored an upset.

This idiom is commonly misspelled, perhaps under the impression that the reference is to squeezing a shoe into a closing door; it alludes to being shooed in.

4.
Original: They’re part of an experiment into sustainable food gathering.
Correct : They’re part of an experiment in sustainable food gathering.

The correct preposition to accompany the noun "experiment" is "in."

5.
Original: She quickly wound duck tape around the breach in the pipe as a temporary fix.
Correct : She quickly wound duct tape around the breach in the pipe as a temporary fix.

Despite the fact that Duck Tape is the name of a popular brand of this product, the name of the material refers to its original application in the repair of ducts.

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