JJMBallantyne

Joined: December 30, 2006  (email not validated)

Number of comments posted: 142

Number of votes received: 174

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Recent Comments

Re: Pronunciation: aunt  •  June 1, 2008, 5:38pm  •  1 vote

Some say AHNT and some say ANT. There you have it. Next question, please.

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  May 27, 2008, 6:40am  •  7 votes

"The accent above the last IS needed, without it the e would not be pronounced in English." This is the epitome* of nonsense. Of course the "e" at the end is pronounced, with or without an accent.

Re: Let’s you and me/I  •  May 22, 2008, 8:26am  •  0 vote

"'Let us you and I' is incorrect." Yes indeed. Grammatical pedantry is so much more important to the English language than something as inconsequential as the evocative lyricism of T.S. Eliot'

Re: The Toronto Maple Leafs  •  May 20, 2008, 5:36pm  •  0 vote

It's "Maple Leafs." Period. End of discussion.* As for: "Everyone knows there is no such thing as 'Canadien Soldiers'." I suggest you visit this site for an education, mon ami: www.r22er

Re: “as long as” vs. “so long as”  •  May 15, 2008, 6:57am  •  5 votes

Oops! Forgot to add: Both constructions are essentially idioms and interchangeable when used in the (conditional) meaning of "provided that." But when we use "as long as" for comparison, it's n

Re: “as long as” vs. “so long as”  •  May 15, 2008, 6:27am  •  0 vote

As John and AO indicated, the two constructions are essentially "co-existing variants" and mean the same thing. My sense is that "as long as" is predominant but "so long as" continues to be used

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  May 11, 2008, 5:19am  •  4 votes

"To those claiming that 'it is I' or 'this is I' is correct: We say 'I AM this,' not 'I IS this.' How do you explain or justify the subject pronoun 'I' not agreeing with the verb?" "That's a good q

Re: Believe as a noun  •  May 8, 2008, 10:03am  •  1 vote

Well, the verb "tabler" does exist in French but, in general terms, you are right. There are two aspects of English that allow this ease in "function-switching": 1. The minimal inflection of mo

Re: Me Versus I  •  May 5, 2008, 7:59am  •  0 vote

"James, 'Deidre, Michelle and I presented to the board.' is correct. Remove Deidre and Michelle from the sentence and see what you are left with. You would not say, 'Me presented to the board

Re: As it were  •  May 1, 2008, 6:24pm  •  0 vote

The subjunctive is indeed incorporated into this expression. However, I'd suggest you treat this as a particular idiom along the lines of "so to speak."

Re: When to use verbs with an s or without  •  April 28, 2008, 6:58am  •  0 vote

"JJM, you're a real cowboy. Do you just say any ole stuff just to see what kind of reaction you can stir up?" 1. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, I cannot be initimidated by insults to my web persona.

Re: Reason Why  •  April 28, 2008, 6:35am  •  1 vote

I should add as an example, "The Reason Why" which is the title of a superb book on the Charge of the Light Brigade by Cecil Woodham-Smith. If the title were "The Reason" it would lack a certain st

Re: Reason Why  •  April 28, 2008, 6:28am  •  1 vote

Yes, it's redundant. But it's not necessarily wrong. It's simply a way of providing more emphasis to the statement. Languages have a tremendous capacity for seemingly redundant constructions.

Re: All negations don’t sound right to me.  •  April 25, 2008, 7:49pm  •  2 votes

"Logic is, by definition, not subjective." Er, no kidding. QED. And by the way, when we say "double negative" we mean only one thing: the use of two negative particles/words together. Thu

Re: Try and  •  April 25, 2008, 7:26pm  •  0 vote

For me, the modal "should" is doing all the subjunctive-cum-conditional work here. The verb "be" is just sitting there in its "base form" letting "should" shoulder the semantic load. If nothing el

Re: All negations don’t sound right to me.  •  April 25, 2008, 12:33pm  •  0 vote

"A few of you seem to forget that mathematics, specifically, logic and set theory, has an orderly and consistent set of formal rules that apply, well, to mathematics. Language is not mathematics."

Re: Try and  •  April 25, 2008, 8:55am  •  0 vote

"Secondly, 'be' [in 'should be'] is not an infinitive, it is subjunctive." Nope. It's an infinitive - a "bare infinitive" if you like but an infinitive nonetheless. Though given the limited inf

Re: Let’s you and me/I  •  April 23, 2008, 5:32pm  •  0 vote

Of course "you and me" is redundant. But that doesn't make it wrong. Languages commonly employ redundancy as a means of emphasis.

Re: Try and  •  April 23, 2008, 5:29pm  •  0 vote

"One usually splits an infinitive with an adverb and that is grammatically correct altho it can be done in varying degrees of obscurity! Now in writing 'try and jump' instead of 'try to jump', one

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  April 22, 2008, 10:53am  •  3 votes

"The verb 'to be' does not take an object." Then "him" in the following example should be "he"? I would not want to be him

Re: “This is she” vs. “This is her”  •  April 22, 2008, 3:38am  •  3 votes

Does the use of "this is her" instead of "this is she" obscure, or create any confusion about, the intended meaning? No? Then why does it matter if "her" is used rather than "she"?

Re: Try and  •  April 21, 2008, 6:13pm  •  0 vote

"Elizabet's comments above are the last and best words on the topic." Psst, John... QED!

Re: Big, red bull vs red, big bull  •  April 21, 2008, 6:12pm  •  0 vote

"My college Theme Error Rules say to separate two descriptive adjectives that describe the same noun with a comma." And we all know something called "Theme Error Rules" must be correct. After al

Re: Try and  •  April 21, 2008, 6:09pm  •  0 vote

"Elizabet's comments above are the last and best words on the topic." Yes master.

Re: Try and  •  April 21, 2008, 1:33pm  •  0 vote

"Some people here are arguing that common usage does not make something grammatically correct, but no one has provided any evidence to back up this claim." Because that's the nature of many people'

Re: Try and  •  April 21, 2008, 12:54pm  •  1 vote

"Jim [sic], while I'm sure you think you are very clever, unfortunately, you are totally incorrect. In the English lanuage, the infinitive form of all verbs is 'to '. The word 'to' is very defin

Re: Try and  •  April 20, 2008, 1:27pm  •  0 vote

"Infinitives should also not be split. For example: '....to not be late' is incorrect '...not to be late' is correct. You are splitting the infinitive 'to be'." Actually, you're right. Y

Re: Big, red bull vs red, big bull  •  April 7, 2008, 7:17pm  •  0 vote

"If it were true then 'little blue bull' would be unusual (which it's not) and 'blue little bull' would be the norm (which it's not)." Except "little" shares more alliteration with "blue" and "bull

Re: When to use verbs with an s or without  •  April 7, 2008, 6:49am  •  0 vote

"Quite clearly it is possible for many speakers to be less than fluent in their native tongue according to such a definition." There are really only two groups of native speakers who might not be c

Re: When to use verbs with an s or without  •  April 6, 2008, 5:33pm  •  0 vote

"However, why one would wish to remain less than fluent in one's native tongue strikes me as peculiar." Exactly how does not using the subjunctive forms (such as they are) make one "less than fluen

Re: Me Versus I  •  April 6, 2008, 5:30pm  •  0 vote

"So there goes the whole accusative, dative twaddle out the window." I agree. Personally, I prefer to use subjective, objective and possessive for the few incidences of case in English. Using n

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  April 5, 2008, 1:53pm  •  8 votes

To quote Kent Brockman: here's my two cents. Spell it either without any accents at all ("resume") or with both ("résumé"). Depending on your particular English accent, say REZ-you-may or REZ-zo

Re: Spelling with mixed cases  •  April 5, 2008, 1:15pm  •  0 vote

"I recently gave a class of six year olds a spelling test and saw that many of the children were spelling words with the correct letters but had used capital letters at the beginning, middle or end of

Re: Big, red bull vs red, big bull  •  April 5, 2008, 8:46am  •  0 vote

This really has nothing to do with grammar per se. Both "big red bull" and "red big bull" are grammatically sound. The problem here exists at an aesthetic and stylistic level above grammar: "red

Re: Pronunciation: aunt  •  April 5, 2008, 8:40am  •  0 vote

"And, contrary to what some would believe, if the vast majority of people say the word--any word--in a way that is now considered "incorrect," the "incorrect" one may very well become the "correct" pr

Re: Wanna know what it coulda be...  •  April 5, 2008, 8:31am  •  0 vote

Wow! Over two years since this thread got started again. No matter. Yes, words like "coulda" and "wanna" are contractions. Yes, they involve clitics. Ultimately though, I'd suggest the co

Re: Actress instead of Actor  •  March 15, 2008, 9:30pm  •  5 votes

(I realize there are old postings here.) "English is not a language that uses separate nouns to distinguish between sexes regularly enough for there to be strong rules regarding such usage." But

Re: Try and  •  March 12, 2008, 7:04pm  •  1 vote

"If common usage doesn't make it right, then what does make it right?" Excellent point, John. I am constantly amazed at those whose philosophy of language usage amounts to little more than: "

Re: perpetrating or perpetuating?  •  March 11, 2008, 4:29pm  •  0 vote

It's a typo or a good old-fashioned spelling mistake.

Re: When to use verbs with an s or without  •  March 11, 2008, 12:20pm  •  0 vote

We can certainly overcomplicate English by thinking about it too much sometimes. To me, the short answer is that this particular use of the subjunctive verb form (John's "Number 2 form") appears de

Re: Exact same  •  December 30, 2006, 7:09pm  •  1 vote

Ignore the "noise" and go back to first principles. Since "same" modifies the noun "outfit" it is ipso facto an adjective. Since "exact" modifies the adjective "same" it is ipso facto an adverb.

Re: Why do we call it “Predicate nominative”  •  December 30, 2006, 6:47pm  •  1 vote

One problem with English grammatical terminology is that too much of it represents usage more applicable to Classical Latin. Many English "grammar concepts" have been hammered out artificially fr

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