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Number of comments posted: 477

Number of votes received: 530

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Re: Fuff  •  October 28, 2004, 8:10am  •  0 vote

Pssst... KyleKat, the second word Dave refers to is "off." "Fuff" is basically a portmanteau word for a US expression that people in the UK render as "sod off."

Re: Lux’ or Lux’s  •  October 28, 2004, 8:06am  •  0 vote

Well, they are building a "Grand Lux Cafe" not too far from our corporate HQ in Houston.

Re: @ mark  •  October 27, 2004, 12:02pm  •  0 vote

I call it "the at sign" or "the at." Slightly off topic... many people in the US call this # the "pound sign." This causes people from the UK to look around in vain for their national currency sym

Re: Lux’ or Lux’s  •  October 25, 2004, 8:14am  •  0 vote

In this case, write "Lux's."

Re: Right Question For this Answer (about count/rank/order)  •  October 24, 2004, 4:27pm  •  0 vote

"How manyth..." Love it, love it. It is utterly wrong and utterly right at the same time.

Re: begin from page 10  •  October 24, 2004, 4:25pm  •  0 vote

My ear tells me: "Let's begin on [not "at" or "from"] page 10." "Let's begin at [not "on," but "from" is acceptable] the key change, measure 152." (directions to a musical ensemble) "Let's b

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  October 21, 2004, 1:32pm  •  51 votes

I meant to also post the appropriate paragraph from the link posted below, in case it went down: "The Latin plural of "curriculum vitae" is "curricula vitae". Some people who know a little Latin t

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  October 21, 2004, 8:15am  •  14 votes

Nope. http://www.yaelf.com/aueFAQ/mifplrlsltngrkwrds.shtml

Re: rubber meets the road?  •  October 18, 2004, 11:42am  •  4 votes

No, I've heard it most often as "when," too. It must derive from the "where" version. I work for a large (multinational) organization, too. The way "when the rubber hits the road" is used is to mea

Re: tuitions in graffiti  •  October 18, 2004, 8:04am  •  0 vote

Help from someone who KNOWS what they're talking about is ALWAYS of the highest possible value. Thank you.

Re: “all but” - I hate that expression!  •  October 18, 2004, 8:02am  •  4 votes

Well, for one thing, you didn't phrase it in the form of a question. (kidding) I'm the last one here to criticize someone just pointing out a pet peeve and asking the community what they think! :)

Re: Use of Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, etc.  •  October 15, 2004, 1:42pm  •  0 vote

Hello, Ms. Mourer! Sometimes, in grammar, things really are what they seem, and these words that look so much like adverbs (with their -ly suffix) really are adverbs! You may, in this case, even

Re: Screw The Pooch  •  October 14, 2004, 8:40am  •  1 vote

(slaps own hand for mistyping... Dyske, can we have a preview-before-posting, please?)

Re: Screw The Pooch  •  October 14, 2004, 8:39am  •  3 votes

That's fine, rob honey. You keep on believeing that, and we'll tell you why the girls always seem to, well, not come back for a second date.

Re: Screw The Pooch  •  October 11, 2004, 12:47pm  •  0 vote

More information (tyou really needed more information on this, didn't you) can be found in this blog post: http://jenlars.mu.nu/archives/004760.html She explains that the expression is a milder

Re: Screw The Pooch  •  October 11, 2004, 12:44pm  •  0 vote

Oh, Christ, is that ever vulgar. :) Origin? You probably know the expression "to screw (something) up." In order to intensify the idea, someone came up with the bright idea of adding a word that s

Re: Is it A or An?  •  October 8, 2004, 8:10am  •  0 vote

LOL. I think I know what happened. Amy read my post and had what we in Texas affectionately call a "brain fart." She saw "vowel" and thought "consonant," and saw 'consonant" and thought "vowel," an

Re: Five by Five  •  October 7, 2004, 8:05am  •  5 votes

all your base are belong to us!

Re: Adjective in place of Adverb  •  October 4, 2004, 8:33am  •  0 vote

Yes, IngisKahn, that's exactly it, thank you. I can be the very bitch mother of impatience sometimes. I always thought it wasn't "think different," but something more like, oh, I don't know...

Re: washeteria  •  October 4, 2004, 8:30am  •  0 vote

(Speedwell, the Texan, who thinks of anything north of the Mason-Dixon Line as "North," and who barely remenbers snow, wonders briefly what planet Alaska is in.)

Re: Right Question For this Answer (about count/rank/order)  •  October 1, 2004, 2:09pm  •  0 vote

Alternate take on this: I was talking to some of my co-workers about this question today (using US Presidents as the example), and someone suggested: "George Washington was the first President o

Re: Mixing  •  October 1, 2004, 2:00pm  •  0 vote

There's a word for this, I just can't think of what it is. There must be a word for this. It's on the tip of my tongue. No, that's not it. What is that word? (shuffles away, mumbling softly)

Re: Right Question For this Answer (about count/rank/order)  •  September 30, 2004, 8:14am  •  1 vote

Jun-Dai is admirably correct. The usage I personally find clearest is, "Which prime minister...."

Re: “Ten Items or Less (Fewer?)”  •  September 24, 2004, 8:58am  •  0 vote

See my latest comment to this post: http://painintheenglish.com/post.asp?id=225 Also some thoughts: When we think of "fewer," we think of a decreased quantity of individual items. When we thin

Re: Eels’ or Eels’s?  •  September 24, 2004, 8:13am  •  0 vote

The Waffle House combo? Scattered, smothered, covered, topped, chunked... and tossed. The "Ten Items or Less/Fewer" is the oldest joke in the English tutor's repertoire, admitted. :) I can comp

Re: tuitions in graffiti  •  September 24, 2004, 7:58am  •  0 vote

I don't know... a purple silk scarf, a previous career in interior design, and his hand on your knee?

Re: Talking through your hat  •  September 23, 2004, 2:14pm  •  1 vote

Actually, I was talking about this just now with the gal in the next cubicle, who reminded me of the expression (cover your ears if you're sensitive) "talking out of your ass." ("Arse" for you British

Re: “I says”  •  September 23, 2004, 2:06pm  •  0 vote

Oh, I agree. There is practically no situation in which you might say "I says" in which "I said" will not do better. (Unless, of course, you are animating the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor.)

Re: Sweet and Savory  •  September 23, 2004, 2:01pm  •  1 vote

Well, I did say it was technical!

Re: Talking through your hat  •  September 23, 2004, 1:59pm  •  1 vote

This expression is reliably dated to at least one hundred years ago, and I'm not sure that even then everyone knew where it came from! It is slang for talking nonsense, or even lying, to mislead so

Re: “I says”  •  September 22, 2004, 2:00pm  •  3 votes

There are no inferior LANGUAGES... just the ignorant vernacular spoken by inferior PEOPLE. KIDDING! I couldn't resist. That's the way the discussion seems to be trending. Seriou

Re: “I says”  •  September 22, 2004, 8:37am  •  0 vote

ladylucy, the usage I hear most in my neighborhood conforms to what I know of Ebonics, in which verb forms are drastically simplified (I am not myself "Ebonic" so I'm not an expert). The present-tens

Re: Sweet and Savory  •  September 22, 2004, 8:28am  •  1 vote

Since we're getting so technical and all... Folks, modern science considers there to be five basic "tastes" that a person can sense. All other flavors are combinations of any of these five basic t

Re: Construction  •  September 21, 2004, 8:15am  •  0 vote

Oh, I should have clarified. "But" and "nevertheless" mean the same thing. It is redundant to use both. I would choose one or the other.

Re: Construction  •  September 20, 2004, 8:17am  •  0 vote

Hmm. Let's look at this... "The chances of my ever being interrogated were nil...." Dave is right, "chances of." "...but I nevertheless felt better that way." Try "...but I felt better that wa

Re: you ‘had better not’ read it...  •  September 19, 2004, 8:13am  •  0 vote

Ben, if your best answer to a grammar question is essentially, "because that's the way it IS, dammit, and if you disagree, then up yours," then maybe you should reconsider posting.

Re: “Zen” as an Adjective  •  September 18, 2004, 6:12pm  •  2 votes

Ben, please allow me to inform you that your posts would be much more intelligent and credible if you showed you knew or cared the first thing about grammar, style, and usage.

Re: Adjective in place of Adverb  •  September 17, 2004, 8:13am  •  0 vote

You mean, "The bombs rested, precariously volatile, on the edge of the shelf."

Re: Adjective in place of Adverb  •  September 14, 2004, 8:18am  •  0 vote

Peter, I think your example sentence would be punctuated like this: "The bombs rested, volatile, on the edge of the shelf." However, "volatile" still modifies the noun "bombs" and not the verb "reste

Re: ab  •  September 12, 2004, 9:35am  •  0 vote

Those are good ones. This would make a good game, wouldn't it. :) Finally getting around to answering Goossun's question about "abuse" and "misuse:" Both words currently mean a wrong or bad use.

Re: Footnote references and punctuations  •  September 12, 2004, 9:21am  •  0 vote

Pedontic presumably meant "pedontic." However, the word is really spelled "pedantic." Subtle. :)

Re: Plurals  •  September 10, 2004, 8:09am  •  0 vote

I agree. Well and briefly put.

Re: “Proper” Diction?  •  September 9, 2004, 8:16am  •  0 vote

Hmm. Well, it isn't wrong to say something "runs slow," especially in my part of the country (Texas, but also the entire South). Really, it isn't wrong generally in English. Adverbs are often made

Re: Where are the commas?  •  September 7, 2004, 6:23pm  •  0 vote

Hmmm. Well, since you appear to be indicating that the reader is to choose one option from the three given, perhaps you really mean, "...whether you prefer apples or oranges, green or blue, AND squar

Re: Irregardless?  •  September 6, 2004, 11:19am  •  0 vote

Irrespective? It's a good thought, but I would guess the word they have in mind is "irregular." It's true that "regardless" has only a weakish negative feeling.

Re: tuitions in graffiti  •  September 6, 2004, 11:15am  •  0 vote

Weird. But all right, "tutee." Hmmph. Just SAYING that word around a bunch of local cowboys will get you laughed at, however. lol

Re: “Proper” Diction?  •  September 4, 2004, 6:40pm  •  0 vote

I found it, I found it, oh, I'm so happy. I know the reason why you should use "that" and the reason why you should use "which." Sarah has it right but she doesn't explain WHY it's right. It de

Re: Is it A or An?  •  September 4, 2004, 6:30pm  •  0 vote

Anonymous, there are no exceptions. It's exceedingly simple. A word that begins with a consonant sound is preceded by "a." A word that begins with a pronounced vowel sound is preceded by "an." No nee

Re: tuitions in graffiti  •  September 4, 2004, 6:25pm  •  0 vote

Anyone who studies is a "student," whether the person they study with is a teacher, tutor, rabbi, guru, master, preceptor, inculcator, or indoctrinator. "Tutee" is a joke. (You did MEAN it as a j

Re: “I says”  •  September 4, 2004, 6:16pm  •  0 vote

Seems like a valid value judgement to me, Dave :) Well, OK, at least from where I sit. I think Anonymous is on to it. It seems to be used largely by actors to portray lower-class characters. So n

Re: washeteria  •  September 3, 2004, 2:31pm  •  0 vote

Upon further reflection (that means, "after Speed reached deep into her dusty unkempt cairn of a memory"), I think I see what the individual meant about "in-a-gadda-da-meeting." Apparently the Iro

Re: washeteria  •  September 3, 2004, 2:23pm  •  0 vote

Marta, a "washeteria" is a self-service laundry, also known as a "laundromat." You may also find it as "washateria." You'll especially find it in blighted neighborhoods full of people who are forced t

Re: As If vs. As Though  •  September 2, 2004, 9:03am  •  0 vote

Very slight, and not very meaningful. "But for" many times indicates a circumstance that prevented the happening of something else: "But for the the extensive flooding that washed out much of th

Re: As If vs. As Though  •  August 30, 2004, 8:58am  •  0 vote

I think they mean the same thing. This British English page agrees (and I think most American English speakers would also agree): http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/grammar/archive/as_if.html I tri

Re: ab  •  August 30, 2004, 8:45am  •  0 vote

Jeudi, that's interesting. The way I read it was that Goossun was asking for English words (i.e. words commonly accepted as part of modern standard English) that used the prefix "ab-" to form a word

Re: ab  •  August 29, 2004, 10:54pm  •  0 vote

Jeudi, as a native English speaker who is now a correspondence secretary and technical writer, and has formerly been a proofreader and copyeditor, I can assure you with the greatest confidence that En

Re: ab  •  August 27, 2004, 8:36am  •  0 vote

Jeudi, yeah, the whole "ab-" thing is Latinate. I was so interested in this question I hauled out my dictionary at home and looked at the words beginning with "ab." Almost all of the common words

Re: ab  •  August 26, 2004, 4:35pm  •  0 vote

Abbie, the whole Internet is nothing but the combined utterances of millions of self-proclaimed experts. Get over it. Christ.

Re: “Can I get” vs. “May I have”  •  August 26, 2004, 9:27am  •  0 vote

This is an etiquette question, not a grammar question, lol :) It depends on where you are. If you're in a formal business lunch, you certainly must say, "May I have..." or, "Would you please bring

Re: “Zen” as an Adjective  •  August 26, 2004, 9:13am  •  1 vote

A word can be a noun and an adjective at the same time, guys. It's extremely common and perfectly OK. Zen Garden may be compared to "flower garden" or "Zen meditation," both perfectly understandab

Re: ab  •  August 26, 2004, 9:04am  •  0 vote

Have coffee with me, Dave. Which one of the words you mentioned is an English word negated by the prefix "ab-"? Most of the ones you mentioned have "ab-" joined to some Latinate root. "Abrogate" is a

Re: Para  •  August 25, 2004, 12:32pm  •  0 vote

Speedwell is NOT an UNHAPPY GEEK. Speedwell is a HAPPY NERD CHICK.

Re: A Somewhat Intricate Sentence  •  August 23, 2004, 12:55pm  •  0 vote

Dave, I and my head cold appreciate your cogent suggestions. :)

Re: A Somewhat Intricate Sentence  •  August 23, 2004, 12:51am  •  0 vote

For a segmented version, try: __________________________________ And back upstairs would go the "little bastard," his head full of Grandmother's lessons on "accords grammaticaux," "concordance des

Re: My dad is work at home.  •  August 23, 2004, 12:44am  •  0 vote

ishtarbaba, I'm afraid I have no clue what your point is here.

Re: Spaces After Period  •  August 23, 2004, 12:42am  •  2 votes

Speaking practically... If you are a secretary, using two spaces between sentences in all business correspondence and other documentation is still considered correct. Frequently, hiring officials

Re: A Somewhat Intricate Sentence  •  August 23, 2004, 12:36am  •  0 vote

Pardon, remove the comma after the parenthetical expression" "... around) might fit ..." This IS confusing.

Re: A Somewhat Intricate Sentence  •  August 23, 2004, 12:34am  •  0 vote

Oh, yeah. Sounds like the way I wrote before I really caught on to the fact that other people would be reading what I wrote. (No offense.) Here's what I'd do with it (read -- as an em dash): _____

Re: Eels’ or Eels’s?  •  August 23, 2004, 12:24am  •  0 vote

I can never cover all of my thoughts in one post... There is a breakfast food, gruel made from ground lye-treated corn, known in the Southern US as "hominy grits," or just "grits." (No, really, gri

Re: Eels’ or Eels’s?  •  August 23, 2004, 12:19am  •  0 vote

Hmmm. Compare: "My favorite band is The Eels." "Five guys from my hometown are now The Eels." "The Eels' financial backers left them after the lead guitarist's girlfriend stole the tour bus." (h

Re: Looking for a word  •  August 23, 2004, 12:12am  •  0 vote

OK, to sort these... "Layabout" and "lazy-ass" (noun and adjective respectively) are used for someone who is expected to perform and simply neglects to do so. A "vegetable" is someone who, throu

Re: Is “much” plural?  •  August 23, 2004, 12:05am  •  0 vote

Oh, and I'm not saying that "much" IS a singular word, nor am I saying that "many" IS a plural word. That's just the form of the verb that goes with them when they're used with an understood noun fol

Re: Is “much” plural?  •  August 23, 2004, 12:02am  •  2 votes

Um, "shoes" is still plural. If you're looking at a batch of widgets, though, and you ask "How much are they," it's simply idiomatic, as well as ambiguous. The merchant could respond, "One hundred

Re: Plural s-ending Possessives  •  August 20, 2004, 9:30am  •  2 votes

That was intended to be an illustration. Jenny, nobody ever says "Joneziziz." Just say "Joneziz." That's what you get when you overanalyze... which I do, all the time. :)

Re: Colon and Semi Colon  •  August 18, 2004, 8:57pm  •  1 vote

Bozka: ,.?';;

Re: Flying (with) Colours?  •  August 18, 2004, 1:25pm  •  0 vote

Ah. Sorry. Eating popcorn on my lunch hour. :) Here's the link. http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/6/messages/572.html

Re: Flying (with) Colours?  •  August 18, 2004, 1:25pm  •  0 vote

Found this today. It's interesting, and it contains a first use of the phrase. I should mention that "colors" is, if I'm not mistaken, the official british and American Navy word for the flags.

Re: Proper Names  •  August 18, 2004, 1:18pm  •  0 vote

I'm not sure from the context whether Walt Disney, the man, or the Disney corporation was meant. Either way, it means that there is some characteristic that is considered typical of or is strongly as

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  August 18, 2004, 1:04pm  •  0 vote

There's a joke that's made the rounds a few times about this. In some American school, the English teacher addressed the class, "In some languages languages, a double negative means a negative. I

Re: Gerund and Present Participle  •  August 17, 2004, 2:42pm  •  0 vote

Ronnie, you pretend to be a free citizen of a civilized country and yet your manners are those of a barbarian. Why, pray tell?

Re: Plurals with Clarification  •  August 17, 2004, 2:39pm  •  0 vote

Remember that the rule that the apostrophe gums up here is that if you have one brother, you use commas; if you have more than one brother, and you are referring to only one, you do not use commas.

Re: Plural s-ending Possessives  •  August 17, 2004, 2:36pm  •  16 votes

The family Jones has a house. It is the Jones's (Joneziz) house. You are going there to visit the Joneses (Joneziz). Each member of the family has their own individual name, and you ask your friend

Re: “Me neither.” or “Me either”  •  August 17, 2004, 8:17am  •  0 vote

Aw, he's just letting off steam, as must all bags of hot air from time to time. ;D Self included (i.e. my latest protestant thesis against the industry-catholic style manuals). I actually speak Am

Re: Acronyms That Are Plural  •  August 17, 2004, 8:06am  •  0 vote

"...and that seems to follow..." (gropes for early morning coffee)

Re: Acronyms That Are Plural  •  August 17, 2004, 8:05am  •  0 vote

Since I very fortunately do not work for the University of Chicago, a Chicago newspaper, or a Chicago-based corporation (anymore), I am free to use the construction that most of the country seems to p

Re: Apostrophe & Parentheses Usage  •  August 16, 2004, 10:05pm  •  0 vote

I mean, that really made me blink twice, hard, and gave me a feeling like you get when you eat too many raw onions and vinegar. Eeeeesh.

Re: Apostrophe & Parentheses Usage  •  August 16, 2004, 10:03pm  •  0 vote

Mark, the situation is sufficiently weird that I don't think a rule exists. Moreover, I don't think such a rule SHOULD exist. (Just my opinion on the "should.") I gather you mean to indicate that

Re: 00′s  •  August 16, 2004, 9:53pm  •  0 vote

Oh, fer cryin' out loud... Native English speakers are not born with the ever-glorious Chicago or New York style books in their tiny grip. Those books are good for one thing and one thing only

Re: Color of People  •  August 16, 2004, 9:45pm  •  0 vote

Nathan asks whether the NAACP (the "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People") should change its name to the NAAPC (presumably he means this to read "National Association for the Adv

Re: Gerund and Present Participle  •  August 16, 2004, 8:31am  •  0 vote

Oh, well. I think that most kids grasp in a general sense that a verb is an "action word," an adjective is a "describing word," and a noun is a "person, place, or thing." So a gerund could be exp

Re: ...t you  •  August 13, 2004, 8:15am  •  0 vote

goossun, not in front of the children. ;D

Re: An unit  •  August 12, 2004, 11:45am  •  1 vote

In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, there are a couple of nouns in English that begin with a U but do not begin with the sound "yoo." "Ululation" (meaning a sort of fluid vocalization) is one of

Re: An unit  •  August 12, 2004, 11:40am  •  2 votes

This ex-proofreader/editor wouldn't have hesitated one second, Jennifer. The preceding posters are correct; the use of a/an depends on sound, not spelling. So if it's correct to say "a young woman" o

Re: ...t you  •  August 12, 2004, 8:20am  •  0 vote

Ha! Less of the sexist prejudice, please. Speedwell is a lady. :) Didactic? Who, me? :D

Re: Flying (with) Colours?  •  August 11, 2004, 2:28pm  •  0 vote

Dave, you're right. The "colors" are flags, and a ship from one country that emerged victorious in a sea battle with a ship from another country would have its own colors "flying." The colors of the

Re: Color of People  •  August 9, 2004, 4:51pm  •  1 vote

"Colored" is a word invented by the white authorities to make it easy to classify those who were other-than-white (and thus "othered," as the po-mos would say). It was an exclusionary word that empha

Re: Usage of “envy”  •  August 6, 2004, 8:19am  •  0 vote

"Full stop" and "blah," I'm hoping sincerely that increased study of English will prevent you from giving incorrect advice such as what you have posted here. Vindibul's examples are correct and cu

Re: Usage of “envy”  •  August 4, 2004, 2:48pm  •  0 vote

First, understand that "envy" is a perfectly good verb, not only a noun. Now, I agree that the construction "I don't envy you (your possession of something)" looks strange. But it's OK. It is ki

Re: Quotation Marks in Parenthetical Statement  •  August 4, 2004, 2:28pm  •  0 vote

Naturally the presence or absence of the parentheses does not change things. Sorry--should have said that right out. Here in Houston, for example, the city highways are (frustratingly) referred to

Re: Quotation Marks in Parenthetical Statement  •  August 4, 2004, 2:23pm  •  0 vote

I can verify that for the airport codes in particular, quotation marks are never used in the way you indicate. You didn't just up and decide to call the airport LAX--that is one of its official names

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