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    #1

    Angry Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Hi there, I'm brand new to this site, wondering if anyone can help me decipher what I've done wrong with the sentiment recently written in a family members' birthday card? The recipient, and myself, are not English majors or English students in any way, however, he is well read and I am an MFT graduate student. I guess it's bothering me because I know that grammar has always been at least a small issue for me, though I can write really well. I would really like to improve this sore area especially for my current academic situation.

    Anyway, here is what I wrote:
    "Here's to another good year ahead, saying goodbye to the previous, and to all the things you've wanted to accomplish in the future!"

    Thanks,
    L

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Welcome to the forum, msingAUS.

    "Here's to another good year ahead, saying goodbye to the previous, and to all the things you've wanted to accomplish in the future!"


    A pedant might insist that you were saying goodbye to all the things you've wanted to accomplish in the future. This could be avoided by changing it to '... and here's to all the things ...'.

    Personally, I would stop sending cards to anybody who questioned the grammar of my wish.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Welcome to the forum, msingAUS.

    "Here's to another good year ahead, saying goodbye to the previous, and to all the things you've wanted to accomplish in the future!"


    A pedant might insist that you were saying goodbye to all the things you've wanted to accomplish in the future. This could be avoided by changing it to '... and here's to all the things ...'.

    Personally, I would stop sending cards to anybody who questioned the grammar of my wish.
    I agree that the addition you have suggested would remove all ambiguity. The comma placed after "previous" should also have removed most of the confusion.

  3. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    "Here's to another good year ahead, saying goodbye to the previous, and to all the things you've wanted to accomplish in the future!"

    That could be read as saying goodbye, both to the previous year and to all the things the recipient had wanted to accomplish in the future. Not, I'm sure, what you wanted to express!
    Your mistake was inserting the passage about "saying goodbye to the previous" in between the two aspects which you really meant to celebrate: the "good year ahead", and "all the things you've wanted to ....etc".
    You obviously intended the comma after "previous" to mark a clear separation between the two topics, but I'm afraid it's just wasn't powerful enough in this instance.

    Did you try reading aloud what you had written? This can help highlight this sort of ambiguity.


    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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    #5

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Thank you Moderator-5jj, and also to you MikeNewYork!

    The recipient (my absolutely "pedant" stepdad...great word!), questioned specifically the placement and use of "previous." He started rambling out some grammatical rules for using it the way I did, I don't know where he would know, hence my confusion as I was at a loss to understand grammatically to what he was referring!

    Any other quick suggestions on how I could have worded the sentence differently?

    Cheers,
    L

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    #6

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Thank you Grumpy! I wrote this very late (at almost midnight) in an attempt at still getting the card and sentiment to my stepdad in time on his actual birthday. I actually did read & re-read the sentiment and I too thought something was off, but because I had not written it as a rough draft ahead of time nor cared greatly about the minutiae, I didn't want to 'white out' what I had just written in ink (never expected to have my words scrutinized).

    Do you have any suggestions, for future reference, on how I could have worded this better?

    Cheers,
    L

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    #7

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Quote Originally Posted by msingAUS View Post
    Hi there, I'm brand new to this site, wondering if anyone can help me decipher what I've done wrong with the sentiment recently written in a family members' birthday card? The recipient, and myself, are not English majors or English students in any way, however, he is well read and I am an MFT graduate student. I guess it's bothering me because I know that grammar has always been at least a small issue for me, though I can write really well. I would really like to improve this sore area especially for my current academic situation.

    Anyway, here is what I wrote:
    "Here's to another good year ahead, saying goodbye to the previous, and to all the things you've wanted to accomplish in the future!"

    Thanks,
    L
    Here's to another great year and to you accomplishing all the things you want to in the future!

    As you can see, I would omit any mention of "saying goodbye to the previous [year]" - that might be appropriate if the last year had been really dreadful for him, so you would almost be saying "good riddance to last year", but otherwise I wouldn't bother at all.

    Next year, I suggest a card that says "To [his name], Happy Birthday, from [your name]".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #8

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Next year, I suggest a card that says "To [his name], Happy Birthday, from [your name]".
    In the unlikely event of my sending a card, it would read "I would have liked to wish you 'Happy Birthday', but was afraid that you might scrutinise the words for grammatical errors, so I have decided not to".

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    In the unlikely event of my sending a card, it would read "I would have liked to wish you 'Happy Birthday', but was afraid that you might scrutinise the words for grammatical errors, so I have decided not to".
    I am definitely not telling you when my birthday is!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: Wrote this in a birthday card, now the recipient is questioning my grammar?!

    Quote Originally Posted by msingAUS View Post
    The recipient (my absolutely "pedant" stepdad...great word!), questioned specifically the placement and use of "previous."
    Tell him that you only did it to make him happy on his special day- where would a pedant be without something to moan about?

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