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 : Coinage
I’ve been listening to Van Morrison’s “Friday’s Child” for quite some time now because I love this song so much. I tried to look up the meaning of ” Friday’s Child” but onbly found a reference to an old rhyme. Can anybody tell me the meaning of the saying “Friday’s Child” and when and why it is used? Many thanks.
Am I alone in despairing when I hear phrases like:
- “We played brilliant.”
- “He did it wrong.” (or more commonly “He done it wrong.”)
- “He behaved stupid.”
Some people think that there is a difference in meaning between “in that regard” and “in that respect”, some believe that a lot of phrases using “regard” or “regards” are in fact making inappropriate use of the word, and of course some think there is nothing wrong with such usage.
Does anyone else think that the phrase “In that regard” is overused and misused?
Is there any defense of capitalizing after a semicolon? This reads well to me:
We do not sell tricycles; We sell velocipedes.
Learn the difference.
Not capitalizing the first word of the second clause diminishes the perceived parallelism:
We do not sell tricycles; we sell velocipedes.
The store around the corner sells bicycles.
With a period between them, the first two clauses read like the premises of a syllogism:
We do not sell tricycles. We sell velocipedes.
Do we sell unicycles?
I will continue, of course, to pen as I please, but, in this instance, wonder if I can confidently publish as I please.
Is separating two coordinating-conjunction-linked sentences, the former having a comma(s), with a semicolon instead of a comma logically justified?
In GrammarBook.com’s Semicolons category, Rule 5. reads:
Use the semicolon between two sentences joined by a coordinating conjunction when one or more commas appear in the first sentence.
Examples: When I finish here, I will be glad to help you; and that is a promise I will keep.
If she can, she will attempt that feat; and if her husband is able, he will be there to see her.
The AP Stylebook today announced that electronic mail is now spelled without a hyphen: email. Finally. I personally haven’t used “e-mail” in about a decade. We have a thread here on this topic of how to properly spell email.
At the time, I commented that it may take another 10 years for this to settle, but it took less than a year!
How does one know exactly when a word is supposed to end with -“ise” vs -“ize” in Oxford spelling?
Onamography is a writing technique that involves creatively incorporating proper nouns (company names, celebrities, etc.) in regular English sentences.
A few examples to clarify the concept:
Onnicle 1: The man at the bar acknowledged that he found the job amateurish. Onnicle 2: The SMS said..Bob ill. The rag ate sick shellfish!
The first sentence has ‘Barack Obama’ embedded in it and the second one has Bill Gates. The concept can be extended to include multiple names in a paragraph.
I’ve been trying to find out if there is already a technical name in English to describe it. Onamography is a coined word (Greek origin: onuma --> name, graphe --> writing) as I couldn’t find anything else that comes close to describing the concept.
Have you noticed that, at trendy cafes, more than half of the laptop computers you see are the new MacBooks? (Well, at least in New York City.) I don’t mean any MacBook; I’m talking about the latest MacBook (”the brick”). In fact, I believe seeing the older versions of MacBooks is rarer than seeing PC laptops.
If these people are deciding to work at cafes for practical reasons, then the laptop demographic should be much more diverse, with a lot more PCs and older versions of MacBook, but this is not what I see. The demographic is heavily skewed towards the latest models of MacBook. So, I would have to conclude that the reason why these MacBook owners come out to cafes is because they want to show off their brand new MacBooks.
It would makes sense, therefore, to coin a term for showing off your MacBook at a cafe. I’ve struggled with this for a while, and this morning, I decided that it should be “Mac off”.
“Hey, honey. I’m gonna go Mac off at the Starbucks for a few hours, OK?”
“At a cafe in Williamsburg, I saw about a dozen people sitting in a row Mac’ing off.”
“I bought the new MacBook Pro last week, but I haven’t Mac’ed off yet.”
If you have a kid and a stroller, I’m sure you’ve experienced this many times. You hang a lot of stuff from the handle of the stroller, and when the kid jumps out of it, the whole thing topples over.
One of my friends wants a word for this (a verb). I tried to think of one, but I couldn’t come up with a good one. (”Stropple”, for instance, isn’t so good because the sound of it lacks the impact of the actual event.) Can anyone think of one?
“the below” vs “the following”
- June 3, 2023, 7:46am
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“the below” vs “the following”
- June 3, 2023, 7:45am
Like me videos plze
Can a singular noun represent a plural non-collective noun?
- May 27, 2023, 11:15am
No, a singular noun cannot represent a plural non-collective noun. In English grammar, nouns and their corresponding verb forms should generally agree in number.
A singular noun refers to one person, place, thing, or idea, while a plural noun refers to more than one. For example:
Singular noun: "book"
Plural noun: "books"
In standard English, a singular noun should be paired with singular verb forms, and a plural noun should be paired with plural verb forms:
Singular: "The book is on the table."
Plural: "The books are on the table."
However, there are some irregular nouns, such as "sheep" or "deer," which have the same form for both singular and plural. In those cases, the noun itself does not change, but the verb form still needs to agree with the noun:
Singular: "The sheep is grazing in the field."
Plural: "The sheep are grazing in the field."
So, in general, a singular noun cannot represent a plural non-collective noun. Each noun should match its corresponding number in a sentence. https://blueskyconsultancy.com/ielts-institute/ielts-coaching-in-delhi/
“I have two sons, Bill and Ben”: comma or colon?
- May 27, 2023, 11:14am
In the sentence "I have two sons, Bill and Ben," a comma is more appropriate than a colon.
A comma is commonly used to separate items in a list or to provide additional information within a sentence. In this case, "Bill and Ben" are the additional pieces of information providing the names of the two sons. Thus, a comma is the appropriate punctuation mark to use.
A colon, on the other hand, is typically used to introduce a list, an explanation, or a quotation. It suggests that what follows the colon is directly related to or elaborates upon what precedes it. Since the sentence "I have two sons" does not require an explanation or a list, a colon would not be suitable in this context.
Therefore, the correct punctuation for your sentence is: "I have two sons, Bill and Ben." ielts coaching in delhi
Past perfect with until
- May 27, 2023, 11:12am
Past perfect with until
- May 27, 2023, 11:11am
When using the past perfect tense with "until" or "before," we typically express an action that was completed or occurred before a specific point in the past. Here's how you can construct sentences using the past perfect tense with "until" or "before":
Subject + had + past participle + until + specific point in the past.
Example: She had studied until midnight before the exam.
In this sentence, the action of studying (past perfect tense: had studied) was completed before the specific point in the past (until midnight).
Subject + had + past participle + before + specific point in the past.
Example: They had already left before I arrived.
Here, the action of leaving (past perfect tense: had left) occurred before the specific point in the past (before I arrived).
Five of Ten
- May 24, 2023, 8:11pm
Five to Ten or Five Past Ten? It's between 9:55 or 10:05
English is quite difficult! Moreover, it (of course, like all other languages) is constantly changing, even quickly. New words, terms, forms, and jargon appear. Grammar and writing are already my weak point. I recently found the site https://www.aresearchguide.com/edubirdie-review.html where I read an honest Edubirdie review, and now I know for sure I will use their services for help with writing texts. In fact, it is a matter of practice, but all these rules are so difficult to keep in mind. I wish you all the best of luck with learning grammar and getting writing skills.
Is “much” plural?
- Tyler Kay
- May 23, 2023, 5:14pm
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“think of” vs. “think to”
"thinking to" has appeared in the last decade in Brit-English, letting Yank-English off the ho????k - this time.
A lot has happened to Britain in that time, to the degree that I (end fifties) have started to need subtitles to watch some British movies. I seriously have to rewind and replay scenes to understand them.
It's frightening on an educational level. And also exciting, to be experiencing the realtime development of my own language: in the 80's I was challenged by meaty Essex phraseology and elocution; now it's by this skeletal grammatical phraseology.
Change is uncomfortable but proves life!