Plural De Disagreement: A Common Copy Editing Issue
As a copy editor, it’s important to have a good eye for details. One common issue that you may encounter is plural de disagreement. This occurs when the plural form of a word does not match the plural form of its accompanying article or adjective.
For example, consider the sentence “The boy’s mother brought him to the dentist for his teeth cleaning.” The word “teeth” is already plural, so using the word “his” before it suggests that there is only one tooth, rather than multiple teeth. The correct sentence would be “The boy’s mother brought him to the dentist for his teeth cleanings.”
Plural de disagreement can occur with any noun and its accompanying article or adjective. This is why it’s important to carefully review your writing and check for consistency. Here are some tips to help you avoid this common copy editing issue:
1. Double-check your nouns and their accompanying words: When reviewing your writing, pay careful attention to the nouns and the articles or adjectives that come before them. Make sure that they agree in number.
2. Use plural forms whenever necessary: If a noun is plural, make sure to use a plural article or adjective. Don’t use a singular article or adjective just because it sounds better.
3. Keep track of subject-verb agreement: In addition to plural de disagreement, it’s important to make sure that your subjects and verbs agree in number. If your subject is plural, your verb should be plural as well.
4. Utilize tools to help catch errors: There are several tools available to help catch errors, including grammar checkers and proofreading software. While these tools should never replace a human editor, they can be a helpful resource to use in addition to manual review.
In conclusion, plural de disagreement is a common copy editing issue that can easily be overlooked. However, it’s important to catch these errors before they make it into the final product. By paying careful attention to nouns and their accompanying words, using plural forms when necessary, keeping track of subject-verb agreement, and utilizing tools to help catch errors, you can ensure that your writing is grammatically correct and professional.