Joined: October 20, 2005

Number of comments posted: 670

Number of votes received: 1558

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Recent Comments

Re: First Generation vs. Second Generation  •  September 20, 2007, 9:38am  •  2 votes

Actually, Amazed, the fact that there is still a heated debate means that there IS NO consensus, which, um, is exactly what I said isn't it?? that the term is ambiguous!! Furthermore, an ongoing de

Re: Complete Sentence  •  September 20, 2007, 9:29am  •  16 votes

No, X. Harsh is absolutely correct. Blacklace is absolutely wrong. Verbs can be action verbs or state-of-being verbs. There is no such rule that state-of-being verbs have to take an object. Your

Re: I versus Me  •  September 20, 2007, 8:53am  •  0 vote

John, I have to disagree. "me" or "not me" isn't a complete sentence, so it is not true that you are using "me" as the subject. You would say, "I am", not "me am". Also, while it's a little old fas

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  September 15, 2007, 7:57am  •  0 vote

Wiggy, you are correct. Stratum is the singular, strata is the plural. Sometimes technical subjects have their own vocabulary, but not in this case. Do note, however, that it's "math lesson" and "ma

Re: What is this triangular symbol?  •  September 13, 2007, 6:40pm  •  0 vote

Excellent post, John. I thought this one would never get solved.

Re: “On accident” and “study on . . .”  •  September 7, 2007, 2:40pm  •  0 vote

I did miss that Bob, thanks. Of course, what precipitated my comment was Keith saying that he hadn't thought of it as unusual UNTIL NOW. So consider this an expansion of my comment to both address X

Re: Everybody vs. Everyone  •  September 1, 2007, 8:20pm  •  20 votes

Actually, Chuckret, when one says "each and every one of you", the words "every" and "one" are two separate words. It's not the word "everyone" at all. Think of it as "each one of you and every sing

Re: “On accident” and “study on . . .”  •  September 1, 2007, 7:27pm  •  0 vote

Keith, no one is saying "by mistake" is unusual. Everyone says it. That is the normal idiom. The unusual idiom being debated is "on accident".

Re: “It is I” vs. “It is me”  •  September 1, 2007, 7:25pm  •  1 vote

Thank you, Blackstubble. You are correct. I posted the very same point in this very thread in March of '06 (and elsewhere). The idea that copula must link only nominative to nominative is a misunder

Re: Plurals in titles  •  August 30, 2007, 8:15am  •  0 vote

"Much learning hath made thee mad" is from the Bible, Acts 26:24, said by Festus, the governor of Judea, after hearing St. Paul's defense for blasphemy.

Re: Apostrophes  •  August 28, 2007, 3:23pm  •  1 vote

While we're at it, Wordsmith, "...me and Mike's house" does not mean the same thing as "...Mike's and my house". "me" must be "my", the possesive. It is MY house, too, not ME house (unless you're a

Re: Doofus vs. idiot  •  August 25, 2007, 3:44pm  •  0 vote

While there may be some overlap, doofus usually describes someone socially inept, while, a true idiot, non-metaphorically, is profoundly mentally retarded.

Re: Apostrophes  •  August 23, 2007, 2:29pm  •  4 votes

Who told you that, CTP? "The queen of Sheba's pearls" is perfectly correct. "The queen's of Sheba pearls" is incorrect. David is right. -'s can be added to a phrase. Yes, the pearls belong to th

Re: First annual vs. second annual  •  August 19, 2007, 7:12am  •  0 vote

Gee, Stacie, if the format has changed so much that it is a "faux pas" to use numbers (2nd annual, etc.), then I would think it's equally wrong to even call it annual. As a matter of fact, it would e

Re: Apostrophes  •  August 15, 2007, 10:15am  •  12 votes

Janet, sorry, but I believe you are totally incorrect, both grammatically and historically. The traditional rule for apostrophes has always been to also include using them for forming plurals with nu

Re: optimiSe or optimiZe ?  •  August 15, 2007, 9:44am  •  1 vote

I think a little history lesson might be in order here. Jimmy is on the right track. The -ize ending was universal in ALL English until very recently, only about a hundred years ago. -ize isn't som

Re: optimiSe or optimiZe ?  •  August 15, 2007, 9:44am  •  0 vote

I think a little history lesson might be in order here. Jimmy is on the right track. The -ize ending was universal in ALL English until very recently, only about a hundred years ago. -ize isn't som

Re: A Few Too Few  •  August 15, 2007, 9:16am  •  0 vote

Owl, The colloquialism, "a couple of" doesn't necessarily mean two. It can also mean "a small indeterminate number; two or more", just like "a few". I'm afraid if you really want to specify "two", y

Re: A Few Too Few  •  August 15, 2007, 9:10am  •  0 vote

Tanwir, I think you got that a little garbled. No one would say "there are few too applicants..." I think you meant "there are too few applicants..." "Too few" means "not enough". compare "many" =

Re: therefore, thus as conjunctions  •  August 12, 2007, 9:48am  •  2 votes

It is true that such words are adverbs, but it is not true that you need a conjunction. Previously, a semicolon before, and a comma after would be required, but this is now considered obsolete. Simp

Re: Me vs. I  •  August 10, 2007, 11:36am  •  0 vote

Fred = subject has introduced = verb Bob and (?) = object Objective form is me, not I. I is incorrect. Me is correct here. As suggested before, if you change the plural from "Bob and I" to

Re: I seek a word that means “more than daily.”  •  August 6, 2007, 1:29pm  •  0 vote

Well, she's already using "most" in its superlative sense, so technically she can't be topped, but if you want to try, you could say "I love you utmost". or "...uttermost". Technically, utmost is not

Re: Plurals in titles  •  July 27, 2007, 4:58am  •  0 vote

Oops, I meant to say, "...I would ultimately say either is correct with "Book of Mormon"'s being somewhat preferred."

Re: Plurals in titles  •  July 27, 2007, 4:54am  •  0 vote

Tell you the truth, I think it could go either way and probably the other way. You did say "...book ENTITLED, 'Book of Mormon'...", that is, it is specifically a title. Say you go to Blockbuster to

Re: Dick & Bob  •  July 26, 2007, 10:35am  •  2 votes

Good question. While we're at it, how did Jonathan make it to Jack? How did Margaret become Peggy (or Daisy)? Chuck from Charles? Polly from Mary? Lolita from Deloris?

Re: First Generation vs. Second Generation  •  July 18, 2007, 10:49am  •  1 vote

Nice post, John.

Re: Pronunciation: aunt  •  July 9, 2007, 12:30pm  •  4 votes

Sukeshini, I suggest you scroll up and look at the previous posts. None of the words you listed are pronounced like "aunt". While I seem to be repeating myself, some pronounce aunt as "ant" and some

Re: How did “trans-” become “x-”?  •  July 9, 2007, 12:07pm  •  4 votes

X is the first letter of Christ, in Greek. The earliest known versions of the new testament were written in Greek, and Christ in Greek was ΧριστÏŒς (Christos). The firs

Re: Impose someone to do something  •  July 5, 2007, 2:44pm  •  1 vote

Andrea is on the right track. There's nothing wrong with using the word "impose" in this context. The surrounding grammar is incorrect though. When uninvited (and unwelcome) guests drop by, they are

Re: Merchandises as a word  •  July 5, 2007, 2:14pm  •  3 votes

This probably is not what you are seeing, but do realize that "merchandises" can very much be a word. "Merchandise" is also a verb meaning "to buy and sell goods". It's perfectly ok to say something

Re: Cow Eyes  •  June 28, 2007, 9:08am  •  1 vote

I'm not familiar with the expression, but when "cow" is used as a verb, it means to threaten or intimidate. The implication is that cows are docile, submissive, easily dominated creatures. It makes s

Re: I seek a word that means “more than daily.”  •  June 26, 2007, 9:05am  •  0 vote

Good point about semi- . I was originally going to just suggest semi-daily, on the notion that semi can mean a fraction, not necessarily half, but rejected it for being ambiguous and confusing. As f

Re: Correspondence  •  June 22, 2007, 4:11pm  •  0 vote

Interesting, AO. I don't think the fish analogy works completely, but there are certainly mass nouns that do make sense to use in the plural, like waters, as you mentioned. I'm not sure I can think

Re: Me Versus I  •  June 22, 2007, 2:27pm  •  0 vote

...By the same token, I don't think it matters if you caption the picture "Greg and I" or "Greg and me."... Well said, AO. Since, as you mentioned, it is a sentence fragment, there really isn't an

Re: I seek a word that means “more than daily.”  •  June 22, 2007, 2:19pm  •  0 vote

AO, that's why I suggested part-daily. By analogy, Bi-weekly can mean either every other week, or twice per week, but semi-weekly unambiguously means twice per week. Thus, semi-daily would only mean

Re: Correspondence  •  June 16, 2007, 2:57pm  •  14 votes

Actually, that is incorrect. Yes, the WORD correspondence is singular, but is it is a mass noun not a countable noun. It's like the word water. Three letters of correspondence are still described a

Re: Irregardless?  •  June 13, 2007, 5:43pm  •  0 vote

Nigel, I take my hat off to you for making the distinction between arrant and errant!

Re: Past tense of “text”  •  June 7, 2007, 12:03pm  •  2 votes

authorized is correct, not authorize. Oh, and it's an adjective, not a verb.

Re: Irregardless?  •  June 7, 2007, 11:58am  •  0 vote

While it would be nice, even plausible, to justify the ir- in irregardless as intensifying rather than negating, unfortunately, it would also be incorrect. AO is right. Irregardless is a double-nega

Re: I seek a word that means “more than daily.”  •  June 4, 2007, 1:15pm  •  0 vote

At first, I was going to suggest 'multi-daily', but that might imply an indeterminate time less often than once per day, not more often (i.e., multiple days between occurrences). Then I thought, we n

Re: Double-Negative Prefix  •  June 4, 2007, 10:40am  •  0 vote

AO, the prefix "in-" can be either negating (like un-) or intensifying (like en-). Many words can use either in- or en- e.g. entrust/intrust. Interesting that both uses are Latin in origin even thou

Re: Plural form of anonymous  •  June 4, 2007, 10:04am  •  16 votes

I have to disagree again. At least informally, adjectives are used as nouns all the time, and pluralized accordingly: "What kind of M & M's do you want?" "Gee, give me three greens, two reds, a

Re: I seek a word that means “more than daily.”  •  May 31, 2007, 4:27am  •  0 vote


Re: O’clock  •  May 31, 2007, 4:25am  •  0 vote

AO, I'm probably missing something, but what do you mean by "Claro"? Um, something to do with light-colored cigars?

Re: Past tense of “text”  •  May 30, 2007, 8:38am  •  3 votes

Actually, in that Shakespeare example, text is a noun, not a verb: DON PEDRO. But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head? CLAUDIO. Yea, and text underneath,

Re: all _____ sudden  •  May 23, 2007, 9:24am  •  0 vote

What's also interesting is that, at least for the first page of search results, nearly all of the google listings for "all of the sudden" are explaining why it is incorrect. I'm not saying it is or i

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  May 20, 2007, 5:38am  •  2 votes

Sian, If you look up "shall" at dictionary.com, there is a somewhat abstruse usage note about "shall" vs. "will". Perhaps it is a little easier to compare "should" vs. "would". At least in some cont

Re: A couple...  •  May 20, 2007, 5:10am  •  0 vote

From the American Heritage Dictionary (for the Anglophiles out there, every other English dictionary will similarly confirm this) 1. Two items of the same kind; a pair. 4. Informal - A few; seve

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  May 20, 2007, 4:40am  •  2 votes

Quirin, I truly enjoyed your insightful post, but I hope yo won't mind if I nitpick about something as well. Using your logic, if the word were native to latin, not only should the plural of octopus

Re: hanged vs. hung  •  May 15, 2007, 9:16am  •  11 votes

I think it's amusing and ironic that that particular Reagan quote has made it into the dictionary. He has been publicly and frequently lambasted for that very quote, as one of many malapropisms for w

Re: Methodology  •  May 9, 2007, 11:43am  •  0 vote

By the way, Whiny, just like methodology, the words utilize, verbalize, etc. are real words with real definitions that are different from use, say, etc. I agree, they may often be pretentiously misus

Re: A couple...  •  May 8, 2007, 2:56pm  •  1 vote

Robin, it's "could have", not "could of". Occasionally people will misspell it because, in speaking, "could have" is often contracted as "could've", which sounds like "could of", but, of course, isn'

Re: Go + noun? Idiom or bad grammar?  •  May 1, 2007, 2:43pm  •  0 vote

Certainly "go " is valid, but doesn't mean exactly the same thing as "go to ". I'm not at all familiar with the movie, but is it possible that the title is intentionall

Re: A couple...  •  April 27, 2007, 9:50am  •  0 vote

Technically, it's probably incorrect, but I would say it qualifies as an idiom. People say "coupla..." all the time, instead of "couple of...". Is is really that much worse? Little words get elided

Re: Charade you are!!  •  April 25, 2007, 9:45am  •  0 vote

Antiseptic, since you are in a correcting mood, I just thought I'd point out that Lev Nasalbomb DID say that the British pronunciation is "sha-rahd", so you were incorrect in correcting her.

Re: The dog wets vs. The door opens.  •  April 9, 2007, 2:34pm  •  0 vote

AO, I think you're right. First of all, while there are many transitive verbs in English, most of them have an intransitive form as well. There are only a few that can only be transitive and wet is

Re: Impact as a noun  •  April 5, 2007, 2:15pm  •  0 vote

Sigpig, are you reading a different post than me? Josh said "While impact as a verb, and a non-literal meaning as synonym of effect..." I completely agree that impact can be synonymous with affect o

Re: Feeling concern  •  April 5, 2007, 1:03pm  •  0 vote

Oh, sorry Dyske, I must have skipped over your parenthetical statement about your dictionary listing "scare" as a feeling as well. My dictionary actually does not have such a listing. I'd be curious

Re: Feeling concern  •  April 5, 2007, 12:49pm  •  0 vote

Dyske, I think maybe you missed CKA3KA's point. You can't compare "I feel scare" to "I feel fear" even if both are nouns. Fear, when used as a noun describes an emotional state, but scare, as a noun,

Re: Impact as a noun  •  April 2, 2007, 1:29pm  •  0 vote

Josh, I would think that for someone with such a strong opinion, you would know the difference between "effect" and "affect". "Impact" is a synonym for the latter, not the former. Chris, did you mea

Re: Two Weeks Notice  •  April 2, 2007, 7:19am  •  0 vote

Pammi, furor, without the e is also correct.

Re: percentages  •  March 22, 2007, 1:43pm  •  0 vote

Oops, thats "...my point", not "...by point". I simply must proof-read better.

Re: percentages  •  March 22, 2007, 1:39pm  •  0 vote

Yes, eSeamus, that's absolutely correct. 5's are rounded down to the even preceding digit to ensure that rounding up is as likely as rounding down. This avoids statistically skewing certain data, for

Re: In actuality, actually  •  March 21, 2007, 1:19pm  •  4 votes

I might suggest that rather than eschew "in actuality", you should embrace it and avoid saying "actually". Through misuse, words like totally, basically, actually, etc. have become interjectives, nea

Re: troops vs soldiers  •  March 18, 2007, 8:48am  •  2 votes

Wait a minute. I have to take issue with the fallacious question itself. It asserts facts that are simply incorrect. First, dictionary.com says that the word "troops" DOES mean "soldiers". There

Re: Thread or threads?  •  March 6, 2007, 10:29am  •  1 vote

Oh, and in "...kinds of water...", water is singular. Kinds is plural. The same is true for "...kinds of thread..."

Re: Thread or threads?  •  March 6, 2007, 10:27am  •  1 vote

There seems to be a little confusion here. The word "thread" is not plural. It is never plural in any context. The issue is one of countable vs. uncountable nouns. It's especially confusing because

Re: all _____ sudden  •  March 2, 2007, 6:55pm  •  2 votes

Ghoti, regarding "...when there are real abominations out there, like 'I could care less.'" That particular expression never bothered me at all. I've even said it on occasion. I've always understo

Re: Pronunciation: aunt  •  February 28, 2007, 3:01pm  •  2 votes

Neilbert, you make an interesting observation, but the debate is between "a"nt and "ah"nt. NEITHER one rhymes with any of the -aunt words you list. They are all pronounced "-aw"nt. So if the majorit

Re: Possessive with acromyms ending in S  •  February 28, 2007, 7:45am  •  0 vote

I don't know if this is really definitive or relevant, but consider that the S in CMS represents the first S in Services, not the pluralizing s at the end. Would that suggest that -'s is the proper en

Re: Ass  •  February 14, 2007, 8:06pm  •  0 vote

Dyske, et al, you have really made me curious. Can you give some concrete examples of how this context-based vugarity works in Japanese? I'm sure you could find something that would not be lost in tr

Re: How did “trans-” become “x-”?  •  February 9, 2007, 10:54am  •  1 vote

oops. sorry, bad edit. that should be " ...-fer is from the Latin ferre, to bear..."

Re: What Rhymes?  •  February 9, 2007, 8:42am  •  0 vote

Actually, Sporange is an eye-rhyme only. It really isn't pronounced similarly to orange. In sporange, the "a" vowel in the -ange part sounds like hand, lad, or cat. In orange, the "a" is a shwa, or

Re: How did “trans-” become “x-”?  •  February 8, 2007, 2:40pm  •  3 votes

Actually, the "trans-" in transmit and transfer is completely analogous to "transatlantic". Crossing a "mit" or a "fer", makes perfect sense. -Mit is from the Latin, mittere, to send, and -fer are f

Re: Double-Negative Prefix  •  February 8, 2007, 2:21pm  •  1 vote

I think I see the problem here. The word "disclosed" does NOT mean "open". It means "revealed". The opposite of "disclosed" is not "closed", per se, but "unrevealed". Yes, the construction of the

Re: Worst Case or Worse Case  •  January 23, 2007, 12:15pm  •  3 votes

It's "C", Pismo. You could still make it a contraction, but it would be: "this vendor isn't too bad, there're worse." I only recently noticed just how common this type of mismatched case has become.

Re: An unforecasted dilemma  •  January 22, 2007, 1:58pm  •  0 vote

Thank you, John. That's absolutely and refreshingly true. Now here's the real question. If such words are valid but not explicitly listed in the dictionary, do they count as valid words in the game "S

Re: Charade you are!!  •  January 10, 2007, 1:54pm  •  0 vote

Uh, no, tork3: "Is any one of you coming to my party?" - singular. "Are any of you coming to my party?" - plural. The "...of you guys..." forces "any" to be understood only as plural. If it were

Re: A “homely” home - would you want to live in it?  •  January 9, 2007, 12:51pm  •  0 vote

RenegadeX, you missed my point entirely. "Homey" and "homely" are not homonyms. "Homely" and "homely" are. Homely can mean wholesomely down to earth and attractive in a natural way, and can also me

Re: A “homely” home - would you want to live in it?  •  January 2, 2007, 5:04pm  •  0 vote

OK, how about cleave? it means to stick together, to cling, to remain faithful, but also means to split or divide. The same word can enter the language more than once with similar or different etym

Re: A “homely” home - would you want to live in it?  •  January 1, 2007, 8:01pm  •  0 vote

Likewise look up homely at dictionary.com to resolve your seeming contradiction. Even if it were a complete contradiction, why would that be a problem for you? Most words have many definitions, somet

Re: First Generation vs. Second Generation  •  December 31, 2006, 3:35pm  •  2 votes

Wow, I can't believe this post is still active after more than a year, especially when the term is officially ambiguous. Here's another interesting ambiguity. Let's say it's Wednesday and I say we'r

Re: Exact same  •  December 27, 2006, 4:50pm  •  2 votes

You're right about tautology, goofy. Furthermore, fusthustler, 'same' does not necessarily mean 'exactly the same'. It can also mean 'similar'. That's probably why the phrase came about in the first

Re: Steak - correct pronunciation  •  December 21, 2006, 1:34pm  •  5 votes

Reminds me of a date I had many years ago. I picked the girl up at her home on Dubois Avenue. I made the "mistake" of referring to is as "Dooh-BWAH" Avenue. She sharply "corrected" me by informing m

Re: Two Sentences  •  December 21, 2006, 9:58am  •  0 vote

actually, "...they attended..." and "...they attend..." aren't correct either. If you really want to match tense correctly, then you should use "...they were to attend..."

Re: Are these questions in idiomatic English?  •  December 19, 2006, 3:16pm  •  0 vote

Regarding: "...psychology...cannot be used with a transitive verb." Well, then what about "Psychology makes me uncomfortable" or "Calculus makes my head hurt"?

Re: Exact same  •  December 19, 2006, 2:57pm  •  1 vote

Actually, consider this. In "The sweater is dark blue", dark would be an adjective and blue would be a noun. Nouns, or noun phrases can be used as adjectives (like animal doctor or horse fly). Maybe

Re: Exact same  •  December 19, 2006, 2:49pm  •  1 vote

I think it's no different grammatically than saying "she's wearing a dark blue coat". Is "dark" an adverb? It's also not listed as one in the dictionary.

Re: Reference, refer.  •  December 18, 2006, 11:57am  •  0 vote

Carol, are you thinking of "irregardless?"

Re: Might could  •  December 12, 2006, 5:23pm  •  0 vote

Amazing coincidence, very Baader-Meinhof, but just recently I heard my wife say "...may do." for the first time ever. She was born in the US, but her mother is from the UK. Her mom seemed to think t

Re: Over exaggeration  •  December 6, 2006, 10:12am  •  4 votes

Um, Doc, it was a joke. You're taking it too literally.

Re: Impact as a noun  •  December 2, 2006, 10:15pm  •  2 votes

This might not exactly improve your grade, but I suggest you go to www.dictionary.com and look up impact. Then print out the entire page and demand your history professor read every word, slowly, in

Re: “It is I” vs. “It is me”  •  November 25, 2006, 9:11pm  •  1 vote

They mean almost the same thing, but there is a subtle difference. In the examples you gave, I would say that "think" implies you are seeking someone's opinion, Whereas "find" has as sense of realiza

Re: Social vs Societal  •  November 22, 2006, 5:58pm  •  82 votes

Yes, it is a word, Craig. It's in all of my dictionaries. I just checked a 40 year old dictionary and it has "societal" in it. it's defined as "of or pertaining to society". Societal's definitio

Re: “I’m just saying”  •  November 19, 2006, 12:01pm  •  3 votes

oops, "p" is me.

Re: X and S  •  November 18, 2006, 9:59pm  •  0 vote

Not so fast, Edna. A short search shows many grammar sites show that 's should be added to possesive singulars ending in s, others show no s, and still others show it to be the writer's choice.

Re: Spaces After Period  •  November 16, 2006, 11:36am  •  1 vote

Here's something else to consider when comparing spacing rules for general typing vs typesetting for books, newspapers, etc. When typing is done on an 8-1/2 x11 inch sheet of paper, using a double sp

Re: injecting swear words  •  November 15, 2006, 3:29pm  •  2 votes

Eleanor, I'm guessing you tried googling this and found nothing. I think you mean Tumbarumba, so it would be Tumba-bloody-rumba, not Kunga-bloody-Runga. This is probably the poem you're referring to

Re: “It is I” vs. “It is me”  •  November 14, 2006, 5:05pm  •  0 vote

Kyle, apparently, you aren't a very careful or attentive reader: 1 - I haven't passed anything off as fact. 2 - I have provided back up. 3 - You have also misquoted me. You might find this inte

Re: Capitalizing Directions  •  November 6, 2006, 2:26pm  •  3 votes

Actually, seasons are not generally capitalized. They would only be capitalized if they were used in a title, e.g., Winter Olympics. Names of months and days of the week are capitalized.

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