60-Second Tip


Last week, in the newly shortened format for year 3 of my blog, we simply struck the needless “who is” in the first sentence of a movie synopsis. Now what would you do to refine the article’s second sentence (which has more problems)?

Tyler is a young man who is desperately seeking direction from a world that seems to have abandoned him. Everyday at school he fights for survival, as he is easy prey amongst the endless hallways of fellow student predators.


1. We want “Every day” (two words), an adverb phrase that answers the question “When?” “Everyday” is an adjective that commonly comes right before the thing it is modifying and answers the question “What kind of?” (I decided to wear my everyday jacket.)

2. “Amongst” isn’t wrong, but it can sound distractingly old-fashioned in American English, where the usual choice is “among.”

3. “Fellow student predators” makes it seem that Tyler is a predator too. Moreover, we don’t need both “prey” and “predators.” Ironing out all of that is difficult, so your solution may have been quite different from mine:

Tyler is a young man desperately seeking direction from a world that seems to have abandoned him. Every day at school, among the endless hallways of student predators, he fights for survival.

You can learn more about my workshops on writing in the workplace, individual coaching, editing, and handbook – 100+ Instant Writing Tips – at http://www.normfriedman.com/index.shtml. Thank you.


This entry was posted in Common Grammar Errors, Commonly Confused Words, Flair & Finesse. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *