Joined: October 20, 2005

Number of comments posted: 670

Number of votes received: 1583

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Recent Comments

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  November 1, 2006, 2:11pm  •  28 votes

To those who said that curriculum vitae is not used in American English: That is not really true. Certain industries use CVs while most others do not. In particular, professionals in academia, me

Re: “I’m just saying”  •  November 1, 2006, 12:15pm  •  9 votes

I hope I'm not misinterpreting this, but, everyone, Nancy is not asking about the general expression "I'm just saying." She's specifically asking about the use of the expression postpositively, i.e.,

Re: Spell checkers  •  November 1, 2006, 12:10pm  •  0 vote

David F-W, while you cannot directly edit the main dictionary, you can add custom dictionaries, and, in particular, you can add a custom "exclusion dictionary". This is a list of words that you want

Re: Spell checkers  •  October 31, 2006, 10:05am  •  0 vote

I hate to be picky, but almost every post on this page (except for maybe three of them?) has an error in grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, etc. Some of them would have been picked up by a spell

Re: I met him drunk  •  October 20, 2006, 10:12am  •  0 vote

John A, there's no need to defend John from me. I wasn't attacking him. I really meant what I said. Actually, he did NOT mean to say "grammar". What he said was 100% correct and proper. He certain

Re: Is there a grammar of spoken English?  •  October 17, 2006, 2:13pm  •  0 vote

Raj, I'm surprised no one else has suggested this, but, depending on your free time, scheduling flexibility, and budget, I would highly recommend concentrated classes or concentrated immersion classes

Re: I met him drunk  •  October 16, 2006, 10:34am  •  0 vote

Well, I'll be damned, "grammaticality" IS a word!

Re: Word for a word with no rhyme?  •  September 27, 2006, 7:17pm  •  0 vote

rhymeless is an adjective. It is NOT a noun that means "rhymeless word".

Re: silent autumn  •  September 23, 2006, 5:37pm  •  0 vote

I didn't say m and n without vowels are indistinguishable. well, actually, I guess I did, but then I took it back. I said that they are difficult to distinguish from each other. I also said that one

Re: Neologisms, altered or lost meanings, and lexical monsters  •  September 22, 2006, 10:43pm  •  0 vote

At first I was ready to lambaste the site moderator for editing out your coment about previewing. It sounded like an attempt to censor criticism of the site. But then I thought about it, and maybe it

Re: silent autumn  •  September 22, 2006, 6:25pm  •  0 vote

You're right about one thing, slemmet. You don't understand what everyone else is talking about. Read Bismark's post again. The reason met is easily distinguished from net is because of the e follow

Re: Amount of people  •  September 20, 2006, 10:46pm  •  1 vote

Dima, if you ever invite me to a party, I think I'll pass on the Bloody Marys.

Re: Pronunciation: aunt  •  September 20, 2006, 10:37pm  •  7 votes

Yes, but Klaus, it's not pronounced ahtomobile either. It's awtomobile, and aunt isn't pronounced awnt. Regardless, comparing similarly spelled words in English is almost meaningless. There are so m

Re: Amount of people  •  September 20, 2006, 11:39am  •  3 votes

Does this help? From dictionary.com: —Usage note The traditional distinction between amount and number is that amount is used with mass or uncountable nouns (the amount of paperwork; the amou

Re: First annual vs. second annual  •  September 19, 2006, 12:30pm  •  5 votes

I checked a few dictionaries and they all say "...occurring once a year". They do not say "...will occur..." or "...have occurred...". I think this is actually quite significant. It means that "ann

Re: optimiSe or optimiZe ?  •  September 19, 2006, 12:13pm  •  4 votes

Aubrey, is that a typo? -ize IS the American version. Why would you never use it in American English?

Re: silent autumn  •  September 15, 2006, 7:40pm  •  0 vote

John, I did soften my position somewhat; however, I would not completely agree with you. They might or might not have different spectrograms depending on how the speaker exaggerates the position of h

Re: Word for unconscious vital process?  •  September 14, 2006, 4:46pm  •  0 vote

Jake, you discounted autonomous but autonomic is somehwat different. Autonomic specifically refers to the autonomic nervous system which governs heart rate, breathing, etc., things under unconscious

Re: Hyphens conundrum  •  September 13, 2006, 12:30pm  •  0 vote

I agree with you Aubrey, except that "grocery" in "grocery store" is also a noun, just like "groceries". Since "the horse is out of the barn", would you object to taking him to a "horse doctor"?

Re: Writing out percentages correctly  •  September 12, 2006, 11:53am  •  0 vote

Excuse the brain freeze above. i didn't get much sleep last night. Clearly, "of a percent" would be used for something with a fraction of one percent, e.g. "a half of a percent" (or "a half of one p

Re: Writing out percentages correctly  •  September 12, 2006, 10:15am  •  0 vote

Also it's interesting that in English, cent can mean either one hundred (from the latin centum) or one hundredth (from the latin centesimus)

Re: Writing out percentages correctly  •  September 12, 2006, 10:08am  •  3 votes

Regarding "... of a percent"; I've heard this before and even said it, but now that I think about it, I don't think it's really correct grammatically. Percent literally means "per hundred". "Per" is

Re: Punctuation  •  September 12, 2006, 9:55am  •  0 vote

Jo, it's called an ellipsis. If you poke around on this site, you will find several interesting posts about it.

Re: Motives vs. Motivation  •  September 5, 2006, 5:42pm  •  3 votes

To put it another way, from the American Heritage dictionary: Motivation: 1 - The act or process of motivating. 2 - The state of being motivated. 3 - Something that motivates; an inducement or

Re: Motives vs. Motivation  •  September 5, 2006, 5:19pm  •  2 votes

Motivation can also mean "the act of motivating", where "motive" cannot. Compare, "oxygen, oxygenate, oxygenation" (or many other similar examples) with "motive, motivate, motivation". With this in mi

Re: “It is I” vs. “It is me”  •  September 5, 2006, 4:26pm  •  1 vote

Interesting to note, you may hear "it is I", but rarely hear "it's I". You also hear "it's me" more frequently than "it is me". If both are "correct", Clearly "I" is more formal.

Re: “It is I” vs. “It is me”  •  September 5, 2006, 4:18pm  •  0 vote

Matthew, "smell" is not copular when used as a transitive verb. In "I smell bad", smell is copular. In "I smell flowers", it is not. Many copulative verbs are not always copular depending on usage.

Re: Colon and semicolon in a single sentence  •  August 29, 2006, 10:36pm  •  3 votes

While a colon is used for lists, the example "stranger" gave is not quite correct. First of all, the colon should be at the beginning of the list itself, i.e., before "diapers", but a colon should no

Re: Me vs. I  •  August 22, 2006, 1:49pm  •  0 vote

RE: "...It's a very important criterion for grammar. Otherwise what is the point of grammar?" Perhaps I was not completely clear. I did not say that something that is grammatical need not be under

Re: Me vs. I  •  August 18, 2006, 6:35pm  •  0 vote

Sorry, goofy. The examples you gave are no different than saying "Me arrived safely" or "Please contact I". This isn't some example of pedantic adherence to complex and arbitrary rules. These are t

Re: Me vs. I  •  August 17, 2006, 3:05pm  •  0 vote

No, goofy. Either one is not correct. "I" is correct. ICUUCME, "me" is correct.

Re: Farther/Further?  •  August 10, 2006, 1:44pm  •  2 votes

That is be true, John, but there are certainly examples where "further" cannot be replaced by "farther". "Further" may also mean "additional" while "farther" cannot. "Here are further examples of th

Re: I met him drunk  •  August 10, 2006, 1:34pm  •  0 vote

OK Slemmet, My first posting of August 2nd did use "while", in "I met him while drunk", but that was purely a typographical error. I simply meant to type the original phrase in question, "I met him d

Re: First Generation vs. Second Generation  •  August 8, 2006, 11:40am  •  0 vote

This question has already been answered categorically and incontrovertibly nearly 8 months ago. I am amazed that it is still generating such discussion and dissent!

Re: I met him drunk  •  August 5, 2006, 11:11pm  •  0 vote

I was going to agree with you, Rebecca, but consider this. Let's recast any or all of the sentences without the "while". Let's say they're ambiguous (which I already did say). If you reform any of

Re: How many thats?  •  August 3, 2006, 5:04pm  •  1 vote

I'm not sure I agree, John. My dictionary lists two different pronunciations of "that" but does not say anything about a correlation between which pronunciation goes with with which definition. An

Re: I met him drunk  •  August 2, 2006, 1:08am  •  0 vote

I think the phrase may be somewhat ambiguous. "I met him while drunk" could mean "I met him while he was drunk" or "I met him while I was drunk". Only, I would think it more likely that the speaker

Re: The use of “hey” in place of “hello”.  •  August 1, 2006, 4:08pm  •  9 votes

I've been hearing and saying "hey" for at least the past 30 years. And, by the way, I asked her and it turns out that my Mother-in-law IS speaking Yiddish when she says "oi", afterall!

Re: as best he can  •  August 1, 2006, 12:13pm  •  2 votes

I have to agree with the others. "...as best he can" is just an elided version of "...as best as he can", universally understood to mean doing something to the best of his abilities. I not sure I ca

Re: Me vs. I  •  July 31, 2006, 11:48am  •  0 vote

Now, let me get this straight, Justin. Are you actually positing that generations of the uneducated incorrectly using "me and John" as the subject of a sentence are causing a backlash of use of "John

Re: Parentheses vs. Square Brackets  •  July 24, 2006, 4:49pm  •  0 vote

Jim, what Nicholas is saying is that you were mixing singular and plural. it should be "a SIGNIFICANT figure", no "s" on the end. Referring to the original post, a small fraction of millions of dolla

Re: Writing out percentages correctly  •  July 24, 2006, 12:12am  •  12 votes

Everyone, read Marsha's request a little more carefully: "I work in the legal field and it is necessary to write out percentages." It really doesn't matter what any style manual says. I'm no expert

Re: “Big of a”  •  July 20, 2006, 2:06pm  •  0 vote

Gee, I thought that "...big a deal" was the more colloquial, an elided form of "...big of a deal".

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  July 19, 2006, 3:46pm  •  1 vote

> >...and I have heard "cherubs" used incorrectly many >times (it should be cherubim). > What do you mean, Jennchick? "Cherubs" is also an accepted pluralization of "cherub", at least according

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  July 10, 2006, 1:15pm  •  3 votes

Avrom, here is an allegedly complete list of english copula: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_copulas Note, none of them seem to allow a sentence with the same me/I, him/he her/she i

Re: Over exaggeration  •  June 29, 2006, 5:24pm  •  8 votes

Oh, come one now. Bismarck. Certainly many may misuse overexaggerate, but one can construct a valid and correct (if somewhat stilted) sentence for every "over.." word you have listed... except for ove

Re: Reference, refer.  •  June 29, 2006, 5:17pm  •  0 vote

I haven't heard gifting nearly so often as re-gifting, the recycling of unwanted gifts to uncherished relatives. As an aside, few seem to realize today that vacuuming has four syllables, not three.

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  June 29, 2006, 5:12pm  •  5 votes

I'm sure that there may be some pedants who will disagree with me, but agenda in modern English usage has become a singular noun referring to the list itself. Its plural is agendas. "Data" is teeteri

Re: Reference, refer.  •  June 29, 2006, 4:44pm  •  0 vote

Joachim: "certificated" is correct according to, um, the dictionary: "To furnish with, testify to, or authorize by a certificate." It is synonymous with "certify", although might be considered more s

Re: Over exaggeration  •  June 29, 2006, 4:29pm  •  11 votes

I would suggest that, technically, "over" is not used as an adverb in this case because overexaggerate is actually one word, not two. PS - overexagerrate is in the dictionary, meaning, not suprisingl

Re: Adverb or adjective? Or something else?  •  June 27, 2006, 12:26pm  •  0 vote

Perhaps it helps to see a question framed before it: How was the coffee served? The barista served the coffee black. What kind of coffee did he serve? the barista served black coffee.

Re: Adverb or adjective? Or something else?  •  June 23, 2006, 2:26pm  •  0 vote

Firstly, I would suggest that coffee black and wall blue ARE similar constructions. Just like painting the wall blue does not mean the wall is already a blue wall, but is describing the method of pai

Re: Thisclose  •  June 21, 2006, 2:00pm  •  0 vote

Mike, I think you may have missed the point of Sara's question. She's not asking about the phrase "this close". She's asking about the typography of writing "thisclose" with no spaces between "this"

Re: all _____ sudden  •  June 15, 2006, 3:45pm  •  0 vote

I'm from New York. I have travelled, well, not extensively, but at least moderately, within the US and the world. I am familiar with "all of a sudden", but have never heard "all the sudden" or "all o

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  June 15, 2006, 3:26pm  •  11 votes

Scott is correct, as is your second link from press.uchicago.edu. More precisely, the verb "to be" is a copulative verb, not a transitive verb. As such, it connects not subject and object, but two no

Re: I wonder why?  •  June 8, 2006, 1:32pm  •  1 vote

oops, thats parenthetical, not paranthetical.

Re: I wonder why?  •  June 8, 2006, 9:05am  •  1 vote

PS - In English (and other languages) it is perfectly acceptable to form statements into questions simply through inflection of the voice (and adding a question mark when writing). Sometimes it impli

Re: I wonder why?  •  June 8, 2006, 8:50am  •  1 vote

Possibly because "I wonder why" is somewhat ambiguous. It could imply "I wonder why it works that way." But, it could also imply "I wonder, why does it work that way?", a subtle but relevant differen

Re: There is more than one user  •  June 7, 2006, 12:29pm  •  0 vote

Or, "There are more users..."

Re: Everyday  •  June 6, 2006, 9:15am  •  1 vote

Oh, and every day (two words) does NOT mean "regularly". It means just what it says, "every" "day". Not every other day, not skipping a day here and there. Once a week is "regularly" but it certainl

Re: Everyday  •  June 6, 2006, 9:07am  •  1 vote

Actually, everyday (one word) does NOT mean "daily". It means "normal", "routine", "commonplace". From American Heritage Dictionary: 1 - Appropriate for ordinary days or routine occasions: a su

Re: politics in the kitchen...  •  June 6, 2006, 8:56am  •  0 vote

Well, goulash certainly is Hungarian, but the word is more than just an allusion to something Hungarian. Goulash is a stew-like dish with chunks of meat, vegetables, lots of paprika, etc; a very non-

Re: O’clock  •  June 2, 2006, 10:09am  •  3 votes

"what time is it?" "ten to." "ten to what?" "tend to your own business!"

Re: most unique  •  May 30, 2006, 2:02pm  •  0 vote

OK, James, how about this? "I did an experiment exposing ten fruit flies to high levels of radiation. The offspring of one was unique in that its eyes were an unusual shade of pink. The offspring

Re: Eels’ or Eels’s?  •  May 21, 2006, 12:11pm  •  0 vote

You know what I really wish? I wish there was a moderator for this website that would delete all those spam postings like the posting above. It should be possible to have a moderator who would not c

Re: Second and a half generation?  •  May 15, 2006, 4:09pm  •  0 vote

that "P" is me!

Re: silent autumn  •  May 15, 2006, 8:40am  •  0 vote

found a bunch more: knack, knapsack, knell, knew, knob, knobby, knobbly, knock, knuckle, and knoll.

Re: silent autumn  •  May 15, 2006, 8:33am  •  0 vote

and let's add kneel and knickers!

Re: silent autumn  •  May 14, 2006, 11:30am  •  0 vote

How about knave? And how about a good silent "g" word: "gnarled" ?

Re: Reference, refer.  •  May 10, 2006, 5:39pm  •  1 vote

oops, forgive my spelling. that's "Unbelievably"

Re: Reference, refer.  •  May 10, 2006, 2:18pm  •  1 vote

One of my pet peeves is certificate / certificated used as a verb / adjective: "Only the New York State Department of Hair-dos can certificate you to be a hairstylist" or "The new Cessna air

Re: The Toronto Maple Leafs  •  May 10, 2006, 1:48pm  •  0 vote

So where are you from myrna?

Re: The Toronto Maple Leafs  •  May 4, 2006, 11:51am  •  1 vote

AAHHH, I see. Thanks for clearing that up. That does make more sense.

Re: The Toronto Maple Leafs  •  May 3, 2006, 6:44pm  •  2 votes

gee, I'm confused, myrna. Clearly your poem is defending Canada. The mapleleafs are a Canadian team. Leafsblow is clearly attacking both the mapleleafs, Canadians, and the Canadian military. While

Re: Using [sic]  •  May 3, 2006, 6:32pm  •  10 votes

Clearly you have a dilemma. Since you are writing in a formal/academic environment, you certainly would want to make some kind of correction lest you are perceived to be in error yourself. Using s

Re: The Toronto Maple Leafs  •  May 2, 2006, 12:18pm  •  2 votes

George, by "American wanna be" I think Myrna is referring to Americans that wish they were Canadians, not explicitly stated, but implied by the context.

Re: Preposition Rule  •  April 24, 2006, 2:45pm  •  1 vote

Actually, every single grammar book I have ever seen explicitly says that ending a sentence with a preposition is grammatically correct. They also say that it is a weaker form of speech/writing, but

Re: Transcendence  •  April 18, 2006, 6:53pm  •  0 vote

While it may, trancendence does not NECESSARILY imply anything metaphysical, spiritual or higher plain-ish. From American Heritage Dictionary 4th Edition (www.dictionary.com): transcend: v. tr.

Re: “Writers Forum” or “Writers’ Forum”  •  April 18, 2006, 1:22pm  •  0 vote

I did a quick search of some grammar sites and this is what I found: Generally, when using a noun as an adjective, it should be singular, not plural. A possessive noun can also be used, but with a

Re: Is it A or An?  •  April 16, 2006, 10:35am  •  0 vote

Dave, that is an interesting observation about unstressed vs. stressed, but I have a small disagreement about collapsing into a schwa. The first syllable of historical, at least the way everyone I kno

Re: Is it A or An?  •  April 11, 2006, 6:07pm  •  0 vote

Maybe your customer is treating M&M as an acronym and thinks it's pronounced "MMMMMMMNNNNMMMMMMM." Consider, "this is a NASA project". "NASA" is usually pronounced "nasuh". Now consider "this i

Re: your call will be answered in the order it was received  •  April 4, 2006, 6:23pm  •  0 vote

How about "your call will be answered after we answer all the other calls that were received before your call...was received"?

Re: The “he or she” problem  •  March 29, 2006, 6:05pm  •  1 vote

You know, this is a real problem. The language is evolving, but not quickly enough. After hundreds of years in modern english, the use of "he", etc. as a general genderless pronoun has been abolished

Re: Commas and Quotation Marks  •  March 25, 2006, 4:13pm  •  1 vote

There were a few other posts on this topic as well. I seem to remember learning in gradeschool that if your quote ended a sentence then the period, exclamation point, etc. would be placed inside th

Re: Genius and Ingenious  •  March 25, 2006, 4:01pm  •  0 vote

Avrom, Iisabella, the dictionary backs you up. They are pronounced the same.

Re: Colon and Semi Colon  •  March 16, 2006, 4:40pm  •  0 vote

Hi Speedwell, re: "Why does it do that?..." Whenever you paste any link into this forum, only a portion of the link is displayed. The rest is automatically replaced with an ellipsis, probably to impr

Re: What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling?  •  March 13, 2006, 6:17pm  •  2 votes

Oh, and Dyske, I probably wouldn't count "nite" or "lite", because, sadly, most people who use them don't do so intentionally.

Re: What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling?  •  March 13, 2006, 6:15pm  •  3 votes

How about something like "zpelling" or "reezolving" or "signiphying" or something? You know, take the verb "to spell" or one of its synonyms and apply the very action to the word itself: if you zpell

Re: ‘is/are’ and ‘do/does’  •  March 13, 2006, 5:18pm  •  0 vote

Sorry anonymous, you didn't think it through all the way. "One" may be the noun, but "do whatever it takes" is modifying "professors", not "one". Think of it like this: One what? One of those profes

Re: What Rhymes?  •  March 9, 2006, 11:13pm  •  3 votes

I once got involved in an extensive argument about this very subject on another forum. It turns out that there are so many different and quite technical definitions of types of rhymes that it's almos

Re: “It is I” vs. “It is me”  •  March 7, 2006, 5:52pm  •  4 votes

I did a little research and this is what I came up with. Gee, you learn something new every day. The verb "to be" is a copulative verb, not a transitive verb. As such, it connects two noun phrases o

Re: Spaces After Period  •  March 6, 2006, 1:27pm  •  1 vote

Gee, Graeme, you were a little vague. Are you saying that your boss proofreads your documents, instructs you to insert a second space, you tell him you will, then you purposely don't do it? If he no

Re: Title vs. Entitle  •  March 5, 2006, 10:55am  •  10 votes

I'm afraid I must disagree with everything posted below. Both words have more than one meaning. While they are not identical, they do overlap, and, in some definitions, they are synonyms, meaning

Re: Title vs. Entitle  •  March 2, 2006, 2:00pm  •  4 votes

Both "titled" and "entitled" are verbs and both are adjectives as well. Furthermore, your example of "entitled" below, was not demonstrating use as a verb, but as an adjective. While they both have s

Re: First Generation vs. Second Generation  •  March 2, 2006, 1:46pm  •  8 votes

Suzanne, I'm afraid that the term IS ambiguous. From Webster's New World Dictionary, 2nd Ed. (just what I happen to have on hand at this moment): First-Generation (adj.) 1 - designating a natura

Re: Irregardless?  •  February 15, 2006, 2:58pm  •  1 vote

Oh, also reminds me of another pet peeve: the use of "orientated" instead of "oriented".

Re: Irregardless?  •  February 15, 2006, 2:57pm  •  0 vote

Iwould take issue with one thing, Anna. If you've heard anyone use the word, then, by definition, they are NOT highly educated. This also reminds me of some other clever plays on words: in music

Re: Sweet and Savory  •  February 14, 2006, 2:51pm  •  1 vote

Dykse, You were completely 100% correct and your friend is simply wrong. From www.dictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary): 1 - Appetizing to the taste or smell: a savory stew. 2 - Piquan

Re: The Toronto Maple Leafs  •  February 9, 2006, 12:31pm  •  5 votes

Stupidity, George? The team was formed in 1917, but wasn't called the Maple Leafs until 1926 when the new owner, Conn Smythe, renamed it after the Maple Leaf Regiment from WWI. Since the proper name

Re: Big fish, small pond  •  February 6, 2006, 12:30am  •  0 vote

I have to agree with Peter Cooper and Kurt. It doesn't necessarily have any negative connotation. More often it involves a personal choice, each with its own advantages. Having more influence in a s

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