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Grammar

Neither Overweight Nor Ill

By now, you’ve surely heard someone refer to something with the word fat, only to realize that they aren’t referring to the object’s weight.  Of course if people spoke with subtitles — which wouldn’t be a bad thing — you’d see that the word was actually spelled phat. Why such...
Grammar

Holla? Please Don’t.

I’d like to see the non-word holla disappear.  The sooner the better. It’s one of those annoying little entries in “urban dictionaries” that have entered the language without any real purpose other than to make someone sound a lot more hip than they actually are.  Let’s face it: if they...
Grammar

Police Blotter Blues

Ever read a police report? When you work in a newsroom, you see them from time to time. And if there’s one thing you learn fairly quickly, it’s that the men and women who walk the beat to keep us safe don’t necessarily have a knack for writing a pleasing...
Grammar

Not Quite What He Meant

At least, I’m guessing it wasn’t. I received a message from a group on Facebook that a friend of mine invited me to join.  The message came, apparently, from the creator or administrator of the group, who found himself appalled by the fact that some people are discussing topics with...
Fun & LaughsGrammar

Adios, Apostrophes

Note I did not title this post, “Adios, Apostrophe’s,” because it would be grammatically incorrect to use an apostrophe to make that word plural. A lot of people, for reasons I really don’t understand, get really confused about apostrophes.  There’s a community in England that is so confused, and so...
Grammar

Outsmarting the Ad Writer

Here’s an ad currently in the rotation over at Facebook.  If you can invest with the results of investment legend Warren Buffet, you stand to win $10,000 through some kind of competition.  I didn’t actually click the ad, so I don’t know who is running this contest or how valid...
Grammar

NaNoWriMo II: The Sequel

I’ve just learned that some local writers who belong to a writing group I’ve attended are planning a sequel (or perhaps replacement is the better choice of word) for “NaNoWriMo,” the nickname for National Novel Writing Month, which is held during every November. The idea is that over the course...
Grammar

Holiday Grammar

Just now during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, one if the hosts commented that the balloons and fun of a parade is enough to make her "revert back" to her childhood. People say this all the time, but it's incorrect: she may revert to her childhood, but since revert means...
Grammar

Neither T is Silent

Please pronounce, out loud, the word important.  If you’re pronouncing it correctly, it sounds something like, “im-POR-tunt.”  You should be hearing both instances of the letter t. If, on the other hand, you pronounce it like a cardiologist who just appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, and it comes out...
Grammar

Shooting Down the Dove

In yesterday’s grammar section of Newsblues, an online newsletter for the TV news industry, resident grammar expert Mrs. B points out that dictionaries list the word dove as the past tense of dive. But that doesn’t mean much. The past tense of dive, as in “Sam likes to dive into...
Grammar

“Due to” Explained Again…But Better

As you probably know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, the use of due to instead of because of is one of my grammatical sore points. The rule is that if you write a sentence that uses the phrase due to but you can substitute the phrase...
Grammar

If You Must Abbreviate…

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Patrick is an Irish name that became famous because of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was a man, of course, and Patrick is a male name. Patricia, it should go without saying, is a female variant of Patrick. Patty is a nickname...
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