Monday, May 05, 2003

All right. I have a Declaration of Principles to make. The verb "to grow" is normally INTRANSITIVE. It does not have a direct object, except in colloquial use when it can substitute for "cultivate": I'm growing tomatoes in my garden. It is often used in relation to economics and business, with the meaning "to get bigger": The company is growing, the economy is growing.

But you CANNOT say The President wants to grow the economy, we are trying to grow our company. The verb you want to use instead of "to grow" is "to increase" or "to augment" or maybe "to develop" or even "to spread", and if none seems to fit, use "to cause s.t. to grow" or "to make something grow".

From now on everyone caught making this mistake will be rhetorically flogged, as will everyone continuing to confuse "it's" (contraction) with "its" (possessive), and everybody confusing "marshal", "Marshal", "Marshall", and "martial".

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