This is a forum to discuss the gray areas of the English language for which you would not find answers easily in dictionaries or other reference books.
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Latest Posts : Opinion / Criticism
Has someone decided that some prepositions and conjunctions are no longer required, and that dates shall no longer be denoted by using words like first second and third?
Is this just another step toward abbreviating speech and writing to the level of English used on mobile phone text messages?
Is there something wrong in saying, or writing, the following:-
‘December the third (or 3rd.)’ as opposed to ‘December three (3).’
‘The third (3rd) of December.’ » ‘Three (3) December’
‘I’ll see you on Wednesday’ » ‘ I’ll see you Wednesday’
‘In a conference on Monday..’ » ‘In a conference Monday...’
‘One hundred and twenty’ » ‘One hundred twenty’
For instance: “We need to do everything we can prevention-wise.”
Other similar words: taxwise, money-wise, property-wise, food-wise
I realise there has been resistance to indiscriminate usage; the question is really about what constitutes “indiscriminate”?
Secondly, why the prejudice against what is a productive and concise suffix, when the alternative phrases are cumbersome and pretentious.
In my opinion, the greatest pain in the English language is the so-called Tenses.
Generation after generation, grammarians and linguists have been trying to use the term for describing how English Verb System works writing more and more wise books on the subject, without any visible results.
Millions of ESL/EFL learners find Tenses to be hopelessly tangled, confusing and totally incomprehensible. So do a great number of ESL/EFL teachers.
And it is no wonder, because describing English grammar as having only past and present is like trying to describe a car as having three wheels.
I think that English can do perfectly well without “Tenses” because it is a meaningless and therefore useless term.
A change that has happened in my lifetime is the use of ‘1800s’, ‘1900s’ and so on. When I was young they referred to the first decade of the century. They would be followed by the ‘1910s’, ‘1920s’ et al. Now they’re used to mean the whole century. I’m not whinging - just noting the changes that happen with the years.
I seem to be pretty fond of the adverb ‘pretty’ used as a modifier, so was rather surprised when one of my young Polish students told me that his teacher at school had said that this use was ‘OK with his mates’ (his words), but inappropriate in the classroom. Looking around I see that this is not an isolated objection, although people didn’t seem to complain about it much before 1900.
Why has this word, much used by eighteenth and nineteenth century writers, writers of prescriptive grammar included, attracted this opposition in more recent times?
In this question, I deliberately misspelled “mispelling.”
Is (sp!) an appropriate abbreviation to stand for “deliberately misspelled?”
Many people use
(sp?) for (I don’t know how to spell that word)
Julie Andrews sang Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (sp?) with great gusto.
(sic) or [sic] is not appropriate here. I understand that [sic] is used to indicate that the word was spelled that way in document that is being quoted or cited.
The new commander consumed [sic] control of the military base.
(illustration modified from an actual case of using the wrong word)
So, it seems to me that we can use
(sp!) for (I am deliberately mispelling (sp!) this word
QUESTION: Is there a better abbreviation, or a well-known abbreviation for this usage?
a) “Could I borrow your pen please?” “Of course.”
b) Teacher: “Did you do your homework?” Student: “Of course.”
c) Interviewee: “May I sit down?” Interviewer (thinking: what a twit!): “Of course.”
d) Police: “Do you have ID, and license?” Driver: “Of course, officer. Good of you to ask”.
e) Called from the shower: “Is it raining out?” Spouse: “Of course.”
f) In hallway to home-comer: “Is it raining out?” Dripping home-comer: “Of course.”
g) At party: “Could I borrow your wife for a quickie?” “Of course.”
h) After party: “Are you coming?” Only sober car-owner/driver: “Of course.”
i) Boss: “Can you have that report on my desk by 2300?” “Of course.”
Of course it may depend on how it is said, but where would it be dangerously ambiguous?
What alternatives are there which are safer?