This is a forum to discuss the gray areas of the English language for which you would not find answers easily in dictionaries or other reference books. You can browse through the latest questions and comments below. If you have a question of your own, please submit it here.
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I want to play a Star Wars video review as listening practice for an EFL student. However, it contains a strange construction that I can’t figure out how to explain: “Now, the question most likely on your mind, be you Jedi or be you Sith, is...”
I know that it would be easy enough to say, “It means ‘whether you are Jedi or Sith,’” but I wonder if there’s a better explanation.
Just how screwed has our language become?
Why do we hear phrases like:
“If he gets in contact with you”
when there are simpler and more meaningful phrases like:
“If he gets in touch with you”
“If he contacts you”.
Why do people have this predilection with “get” or “got”?
Which ending punctuation sequence is correct for a question dialogue sentence containing a quotation within it?
a. ”Does the menu say, ‘no substitutions?’” asked Jo.
b. ”Does the menu say, ‘no substitutions’?” asked Jo.
Am I alone in despairing when I hear phrases like:
- “We played brilliant.”
- “He did it wrong.” (or more commonly “He done it wrong.”)
- “He behaved stupid.”
In a sentence, there is the name of a company followed by an abbreviation, the initials of the company, in parentheses. The company name is a possessive in this sentence. Where does the apostrophe go? I want to know how this would work, as I am having trouble finding anything but advice to restructure the sentence, and I would like an answer that gives me what to do with the sentence as it stands.
Example: This policy sets a standard for determining access to Introspective Illusions (II) resources.
Would it be Introspective Illusions’ (II’s) or Introspective Illusions’ (II) or some other construction?
I’ve noticed that “haitch” is becoming more common than “aitch” when it comes to pronouncing “H”. Why is this, and what is the thinking on which pronunciation is preferable (or even correct)? My mind goes back to my 4th year high school Latin teacher who was very fond of rendering what he obviously considered witty quotes about “Arrius and his haspirates“.
I have often noticed that in Scotland quite a few people tend to confuse words like:
- amount / number: e.g. Amount of people
- much / many: e.g. Too much eggs
- less / fewer: e.g. Less eggs
There are possibly others in this category.
Has anyone noticed this in other areas?