Sunday, August 29, 2010


My dear mother, a former graduate-level English (ESL) professor, passed away in 2004, much to my heartbreak. Over the years (slowly), I've been going through her physical and computer files. I love coming across some of her old exercises. There aren't many, because she passed most of her material to her protégé in 1999 when she retired.

My mom's students were all foreign, of course; some were high-level executives from huge international corporations; others were just regular ol' grad students from other countries. In addition to being exposed to superior academic brains during my formative years, I had the good fortune to be exposed to many people from many countries and cultures whom I encountered regularly at school functions, parties, and while hanging around on campus during my summer breaks. Those experiences, academic and social, have served me so well over the years. I owe my mom, her co-workers, and all her former students much...Thank you.


Try to identify the antecedent of each numbered pronoun below. Is each clear, ambiguous, or incorrect?

John and Bill own a business together. It is a small shop which repairs cars. They are old but experienced in all kinds of small engine repairs. They are not very complicated, fortunately. John has told Bill many times that he needs an accountant to take care of the books that could also be a partner in the business. This seemed like a good idea, so they hired an accountant that soon became a partner in the business. He was happy with the arrangement. They provided him with an apartment and a car. It was new and clean.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones own two companies, the XYA and the BCD. They make a good profit each year, and they will expand operations to the West Coast, which is a good idea. They will include some exporting to Australia and New Zealand. They decide on San Francisco and Seattle as the two location, and they will open in 1990, which is good from the standpoint of their employees.

1 comment:

Rimpy said...

I guess I'd fail this exercise, and I'm EFL! I'm not sure I understand what you're supposed to do. They all look correct to me. Is "two location" supposed to be part of the challenge?

P.S.: What happened to WTFIC? I mean, we both know who won ;), but the other folks might like to know the answer.