May 1, 2006  •  isaac

Using [sic]

I am a student working on a thesis in anthropology and I am quoting one of my informants. In his quote, he says “United States Geological Service.” I know that it’s “United States Geological SURVEY,” not “service.” Should I put [sic] after the word “service” in the quote? Is it obnoxious to do that? Is it necessary?

April 25, 2006  •  jimvanb

Actress instead of Actor

According to the dictionary, Actor simply refers to “person” who acts, . . . etc. While Actress, specifically refers to the female side. Since when (and when is appropriate) the use of Actor to refers to BOTH male or female “action person”? This is not political, is it? Is it a “woman movement thingie”? Is it a similar “situation” to the word: Director not being distinguishable as to the gender of that person? Anyone for Directress (female director)?, contractor - contractress, prosecutor - prosecutress, exterminator - exterminatress, etc., etc.

April 23, 2006  •  kurt

Preposition Rule

I must inquire as to the dreaded “preposition rule.” I hear that it does not exist. I hear the story of Winston Churchill disproving the rule. I do not know what to think! Give me your intellectual input, por favor. Do we or do we not end sentences with prepositions?!

April 23, 2006  •  xmrcx

Second and a half generation?

Irrespective of whether 1st generations are the ones who are born first in the new country vs. the ones who immigrated, [See the previous post] what would your child be if say you are 1st generation and your spouse is 2nd generation - Is your child “second and a half”? Curious to know what people under such circumstance (or similar) call themselves?

April 23, 2006  •  elizabethmcauley

Contractions

I have read that at one time in the American South, it was not common to use an apostrophe to form a contraction of words. Some examples used in the article were you’re spelled as youre, don’t as dont. The implication was that the change was part of Reconstruction and a way of forcing conformity on the southern states. I cannot remember where I read this nor what sources were cited as reference. Where can I find information to prove or disprove that such was the case?

April 19, 2006  •  patrick

Books of the Bible - underlined?

How ought one format citations from specific books of the Bible. For example: According to the Book of James, “Faith without works is dead.” Should “Book of James” be underline/italicized?

April 18, 2006  •  trishtillman

“Writers Forum” or “Writers’ Forum”

My students choose a favorite piece of their own writing to read aloud to thier parents at an event we call “Writers Forum.” Should it be “Writers Forum” or “Writers’Forum”?

April 7, 2006  •  manuia

Persian/Farsi

Responding to an old post (see below) I was under the impression that there were several kinds of Persian: Farsi, Dari, etc. If we use the word Persian, how does someone know to which one we are referrring? I have seen it written as Persian (Farsi) to make that clear. Is there a cultural reason why Persian is preferable? Khodadad Rezakhani Mar-19-03 3:28AM Something I want to ask you to bring into attention. English has its own names for other languages: Eliniki is called Greek, Deutsch is German, and so on. About the name of the language of Iran: the English name is Persian, a correct name based on the rules of English. However, there has been a wide use of the word Farsi in main stream media (and even the computer world). Farsi is the local name for the language, and as we don’t say “I speak Espanol” when conversing in English, we shan’t say Farsi either. Please point out this matter in your weblog.

April 7, 2006  •  jivy

Transcendence

I’m in law school and I have a professor who keeps using the word “transcendence” to refer to a self-less lawyer, who puts his clients first. This kills me! He doesn’t know the definition of transcendence. Doesn’t transcendence mean to be on a higher plain mentally, almost like a state of nirvana? Yes, transcendence means to be above the self, but does it have anything to do with putting others before yourself? ALTRUISM is the term my professor should be using. Altruism means to put others before oneself. This professor has received many awards and is recognized a pioneer in legal ethics. I find it astonishing that no one has corrected him. He’s built his entire curriculum, which is being adopted by other law schools, on the wrong term! Am I right?

April 6, 2006  •  jon

“while” adverb or conjunction?

This question has caused a lot of argument on another message board. In the sentence below, is “while” an adverb? I’d like to see what the people here think. “Begin grooming your kitten while it is still young.” Incidentally, I vote that it’s a conjunction.

April 4, 2006  •  anette

Hi all vs. Hi everybody

I’m German, but work in an American company. So the expression “Hi all” is pretty popular as a salutation for email messages. Now, an American English native speaker told me that this is Southern accent, and I should use “Hi everybody” instead. (same with “Dear all”) What do you think?

March 31, 2006  •  stevem

Reference, refer.

Does anyone else find it annoying that reference is being used, more and more, as a verb? When people say things like “He’s referencing our trip to the mall” it really annoys me. It seems like they simply do not know that reference already has a verb form “refer.” Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

March 29, 2006  •  adam

Over exaggeration

Is it correct to say “over exaggerate”? or is exaggeration by nature already over emphasizing? Surely you either exaggerate or you don’t? It just drives me mad when people say this all the time!

March 28, 2006  •  billedwards

The “he or she” problem

I find educated speakers saying the following: “Everyone must do their duty.” or “The next player must move their piece if the move is possible.” This is caused because people do not think ahead when speaking. To avoid this, they could start with the plural, such as: “All of us must do our duty.” or “Players must move their piece if the move is possible”. What will future grammar books say about the time honored rule that pronouns must agree in gender, number, and case? They must agree in gender, number, and case with the exception that in order to avoid using “he or she” or “his or hers”, the plural may be used as an exception.

March 23, 2006  •  drewfleischer

Titles in quotes

I’m writing for a trivia book that will use quote marks to signify a title. Would a correct possessive be: How tall is “Sesame Street’s” Big Bird? or How tall is “Sesame Street”’s Big Bird?

March 13, 2006  •  andys

Magazine title plus a possessive = italics?

In the phrase “...ranked in the top five in PC Magazine’s top-20 list...” I know that “PC Magazine” should be italicized. But should the italic formatting carry over to the apostrophe-s or not?

March 13, 2006  •  tim

Dependency

Why is it that drug addiction is referred to as ‘dependency’ and not ‘dependence’? I realize it’s a synonym but it seems like an unnecessary one. No one ever uses the word ‘independency’

March 12, 2006  •  isabella

Genius and Ingenious

Genius has no ‘o’ in it and yet ingenious does. Why the difference in spelling?

March 10, 2006  •  joe3

I vs I’ve

“As I mentioned before” or “As I’ve mentioned before” Which one is correct and why, or is there a different place and time to use either?

March 6, 2006  •  elledee

What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling?

You know when people or businesses use improper spelling for effect? eg. “Rogz for Dogz” or “Phantasy Star” What is that called? I simply can’t find the answer anywhere.

  21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29  

Recently Discussed

‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF  —February 28, 2015, 5:15pm

“If I was” vs. “If I were”  —February 27, 2015, 12:25pm

Why do sports teams take a definite article?  —February 26, 2015, 7:45am

On Tomorrow  —February 25, 2015, 4:00pm

Past tense of “text”  —February 22, 2015, 8:18pm

“Thank you for reverting to us”  —February 20, 2015, 1:10pm

“Rack” or “Wrack”?  —February 17, 2015, 6:14pm

and so...  —February 12, 2015, 4:21pm