Pet Peeve Edition!
I was drawing a blank for what to write about this week, so I turned to Kizz who, as usual, saved my day. “I KNOW!” she said, “Please rant on the inadmissability of people saying “That’s besideS the point.” NO! It is BESIDE the point – as in NEXT TO!!!!!”
We can see she’s pretty passionate about this one, and with good reason.
“Beside” is a preposition that means, as Kizz said, “next to,” which, for our purposes today, is what is being expressed when someone dismisses something as being off-subject or inconsequential:
“You didn’t ask to use my car: that you filled it with gas before returning it is beside the point.”
“Besides” is an adverb that means “furthermore” or “in addition.” Use “besides” when you’re introducing more evidence or furthering a discussion:
“I’m sorry, but I can’t come to your party on Saturday. I have a lot of housework to do and I’m expecting a visit from my sister in the afternoon. Besides, I don’t really like your other friends very much.”
My contribution to the “pet peeve” post concerns putting an extra “is” at the end of “the problem is” or “the point is” or any other introductory phrase that ends in “is.” I hear a lot of people say things like:
“The problem is is that too many principals were never teachers themselves.”
Really – only one “is” is required.
As I do every week, I’m taking Grammar Wednesday topic requests, so if there’s something that confuses, befuddles or stymies you – or just sends you into a fury whenever you hear or see it – let me know. Chances are good it’ll show up in a future G.W. post!