Contemporary essays, fiction, and opinion offered regularly by author Anne Brandt.

Question for the week
Is there anything wrong with the following phrase? "It cost less to reuse boxes than to buy new ones."
Rules of the Games
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John asks...
All the politicians around here are saying, "I approve this message". I don't think it sounds grammatically correct. Seems to me there's something missing, like "of" or something. What do you think?
Anne answers...
Actually, the phrase is grammatically correct; it's just that many people insert "of" where it doesn't belong. However, the phrase is practically meaningless in the political context in which it is used. To approve means to have a good opinion of someone or something; naturally the politician involved has a good opinion about an ad that promotes himself or herself. To approve something has no bearing on whether it's true or not.
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