John Bremner, who died of cancer in 1987, was a long-time journalism professor at the University of Kansas who made an indelible impression on most people who came in contact with him. His passion for excellence and his love for what he often referred to as "this beautiful, bastard language of ours" remain vivid in the minds of those of us who knew him.
Bremner devised a devilish test to determine one's knowledge of English usage, style, syntax, grammar and spelling. None of us new journalism teachers who took the test at Indiana University in the summer of 1985 found all the errors. I'm sure that those who find all the errors on first try must be few. I refer to the 18-sentences of the "Infamous Bremner Test."
Try your hand:
1. Volkswagon is only having
trouble with one of there new models.
2. The grand marshall gave
his councel to whomever sought it.
3. Only one of the people
who works in the lab is a vetinarian.
4. He claimed he knows a
star athalete who will sign with the school.
5. He felt bad due to the
6. He looks like he can
pitch real good.
7. Travelling acrost the
U.S., it's vastness effected her.
8. Like I said, he should
be like I and do like I do.
9. He wanted to know if
the criteria is valid.
10. He told his wife Alice
he likes his mistress better than she.
11. The hero was presented
with an historic award by the Congressman.
12. This is different than
and hopefully more preferrable over that.
13. Its easy to see the
difference between she and I.
14. We must try and keep
up with the Jones'.
15. What kind of a woman
could like those kind of men.
16. The principle reason
for Lopez' dismissal was that he behaved wierdly.
17. Neither him nor her
know how to play the ukalele.
18. Have you got a receipt for a clam chowder soup which won't make me nauseous.
Click here for an explanation of the corrections required for each sentence.