Joined: April 10, 2003  (email not validated)

Number of comments posted: 13

Number of votes received: 4

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Recent Comments

Re: Em dash  •  April 11, 2003, 6:30pm  •  0 vote

Guess I'm out of date. My last post stated the "typographers' rules" as I recalled them from the typography book _Words Into Type_. Examination of the web pages of the _New York Times_ and _The Washin

Re: There were/was an apple and an orange.  •  April 11, 2003, 10:46am  •  0 vote

If you see "cold wind and an intermittent drizzle" together as representing the weather, a singular verb is called for. The team were unable to reach agreement on where to go for lunch. (The member

Re: Multi-disciplinary  •  April 10, 2003, 11:05pm  •  0 vote

Use single or double quotation marks consistent with whatever style guide you are following. Owl's second paragraph is not sound advice, nor is her ending punctuation correct, regardless of the style

Re: Em dash  •  April 10, 2003, 10:54pm  •  1 vote

Typographers in the US use no spaces. Hard and fast rules. An en-dash is half an em-dash, and is used as a hyphen. - — They are clearly different. What you will see occasionally is -

Re: Off His Rocker  •  April 10, 2003, 10:33pm  •  1 vote

From Looks as if Purple Dragon might have been on track with the train reference. "Rocker: If someone is off his rocker, then he is thought to be

Re: Potboiler  •  April 10, 2003, 10:22pm  •  0 vote Michael Quinion's site is a good one for finding origins of words and phrases. Another good one is Evan Morris's

Re: Went to extremes  •  April 10, 2003, 10:09pm  •  0 vote

I tried to find a bit more about the origin of "went to extremes" by googling. When I linked to a page and found the following use of the phrase, I decided it was time to move on to something else. -

Re: In and of itself  •  April 10, 2003, 9:47pm  •  0 vote

It's an expensive book ($35 to $40 US), but _The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms_ would be a very useful book for those learning English as a second language. Other less expensive books are ava

Re: Perturb vs. Disturb  •  April 10, 2003, 9:13pm  •  2 votes

American Heritage, Microsoft Encarta, Chambers--all of these dictionaries (most recent additions) define "perturb" and "disturb" similarly. Two define "perturb" as "to disturb greatly." All have as a

Re: Decades  •  April 10, 2003, 8:48pm  •  0 vote

Tom (the no email Tom) and PeriodButtons, please note. _The Chicago Manual of Style_, perhaps the most highly respected style guide in the US, uses 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. Other respected style guides use

Re: Taking sides  •  April 10, 2003, 8:22pm  •  0 vote

Sorry, kortazone, "I'm taking sides with Kelly" is what most Americans would say--it's OK. However, "I'm siding with Kelly" eliminates the problem. "I'm not ready to take sides on this." Also commo

Re: Matching the tense  •  April 10, 2003, 8:09pm  •  0 vote

Much of what's posted here has to do with idiom, not necessarily with what is colloquial as opposed to formal. American idiom, New Zealand idiom, Australian idiom, Canadian idiom.... All are diffe

Re: Value  •  April 10, 2003, 7:18pm  •  0 vote

Context is absent, but I'd say, "It has value" means "It is valuable." Meaning: substantial value. "It has a value" means "It is not worthless." Meaning: minimal value.