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Joined: November 6, 2002
Comments posted: 111
Votes received: 372

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Questions Submitted

“go figure”

November 29, 2015

Use my brain or brains?

June 14, 2014

It had impacts on...

April 19, 2012

Collins Dictionaries

February 27, 2012

Word for Twitter Whores?

June 15, 2009

Someone else’s

June 4, 2009

Peter thins them out

May 15, 2009

One of the most...

May 14, 2009

Effect vs. Affect

April 26, 2009


June 24, 2008

Do’s and Don’t's

September 30, 2007

Don’t mind if I do

July 5, 2007


February 8, 2007


January 25, 2007

Feeling concern

September 13, 2006


September 13, 2006


May 4, 2006

Life Savers 5 Flavor

March 18, 2005

I’m home

February 6, 2005


January 9, 2005

Murphy’s Law

December 3, 2004

Color of People

August 6, 2004

Wiener Coffee

July 18, 2004

Silk and Silkworm

April 10, 2004


March 16, 2004

The Flu and a Cold

January 19, 2004

The Americans

December 5, 2003

At least, at the least

October 23, 2003

Shame on You!

October 7, 2003

Either Is or Am

October 2, 2003

A Jew and Jews

September 21, 2003


September 17, 2003


July 29, 2003

Hyphen, N-dash, M-dash

July 22, 2003

Spaces After Period

June 12, 2003

Sweet and Savory

June 5, 2003


June 5, 2003


June 5, 2003

Couldn’t Care Less

May 21, 2003


May 8, 2003

Sister Company

May 8, 2003

Ranks has or have

April 29, 2003

Trouble with Trouble

April 25, 2003

War in/on/with Iraq

April 20, 2003

The Reality

March 18, 2003

20 Something

March 18, 2003


February 18, 2003

ON the Lower East Side

February 11, 2003

Matching the tense

February 4, 2003

Taking sides

February 4, 2003


January 23, 2003

Sheep, Fish, and Cattle

January 17, 2003

Social vs. Societal

January 11, 2003

Perturb vs. Disturb

January 3, 2003

Fried Chicken

December 23, 2002

Neither is or neither are

December 20, 2002

Down to the Wire

December 17, 2002

In and of itself

December 12, 2002

Motives vs. Motivation

December 10, 2002


December 1, 2002

Five of Ten

November 30, 2002

Went to extremes

November 29, 2002


November 29, 2002

hit a snag

November 29, 2002

“got the best of him”

November 29, 2002

Off His Rocker

November 29, 2002

Gone to Seed

November 29, 2002

Two Weeks Notice

November 27, 2002


November 21, 2002

a shit

November 21, 2002


November 21, 2002

lack of “a”

November 15, 2002

Letter A

November 15, 2002


November 13, 2002

Matching Numbers

November 11, 2002


November 10, 2002


November 10, 2002

A lot of water

November 10, 2002

What is / What are

November 8, 2002

A Part of ...

November 7, 2002

Past / Present

November 6, 2002

Text, A Text, Texts

November 5, 2002

“A” News

November 4, 2002

Where are the commas?

November 2, 2002

Don’t you count money?

November 2, 2002

What Rhymes?

November 2, 2002

Recent Comments

Yeah, I agree with you. I don't see anything that would justify the use of past perfect tense. It appears that keeping it simply in past tense would make more sense.

Dyske March 9, 2011, 10:27am

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I'm not sure if it's possible to evaluate this sentence alone. I think it would depend on the tense of the sentences that came before it.

Dyske March 9, 2011, 4:49am

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Well, my dictionary says both are fine. And, a lot of grammarians on the Web seem to agree. But what I'm curious about is how "cannot" became acceptable and then a preferred form. I would guess that at first "can not" was the only acceptable form. We don't use "maynot", "couldnot" or "shouldnot", so why "cannot"?

Dyske February 9, 2011, 9:10pm

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I have to say, I love the way you phrased the question. You are really just asking for a word that means bad taste, right?

"Malodor", according to my dictionary, is not a thing that smells bad; it means bad smell. So, are you asking for a word equivalent of bad taste, or a thing that tastes bad?

Dyske February 1, 2011, 10:39am

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Speaking of the tone, let me provide another example that might be more relevant. How would you read this sentence? Do you really read it like a question if you were to actually say it?

"Let's not add this feature for now. Who knows if we would ever come across a situation where this feature is necessary."

Dyske November 15, 2010, 12:23pm

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Hi Steve,

<blockquote>Otherwise, you’re saying that someone named Who has the answer.</blockquote>

This is interesting. Doesn't "Who knows" function the same way "God knows" does? In my head, "Who knows" is a response phrase like "God knows".

Dyske November 15, 2010, 12:13pm

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"e-mail" was how the word started, because it was a short for electronic-mail. But I think we evolved further now, and "email" is more common. If you are not hyphenating it, it makes more sense to capitalize the e. Email. That's what I do personally. But I don't think there is a definitive answer for this. It will be settled in about 10 years, I would guess.

Also, I would imagine that some of the manuals of style would have this in them.

Dyske October 14, 2010, 9:35am

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Technically speaking, "Her and I traveled" is wrong. Each has to stand on its own. "Her traveled" doesn't. But what puzzles me is why "Her and I" sounds OK. In comparison, "I and she traveled" sounds awkward even though it's technically correct. Whenever the "I" is included, it's usually the last one. "You and I traveled" sounds fine, but "I and you traveled" sounds weird.

It also depends on the verb too. "Me and you are..." is wrong but sounds OK (because we hear "me and you" as a phrase often). "I and you are" is technically correct (or is it?) but sounds awkward.

As a writer, we put a lot of effort in composing sentences in such a way that they naturally flow, and so that the readers are not distracted by the technicality of them. When the sentence sounds wrong, it almost doesn't matter if it's technically correct. So, I sometimes deliberately choose the wrong one just so that the majority of the readers can stay focused on the content.

Dyske June 20, 2010, 3:46am

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Personally, I would call it "6th". Skipping a year does not necessarily cast a doubt on the number, but on the word "annual". If you end up skipping another year, it would turn into "biennial". In other words, the number part refers to a historical fact, but the "annual" part refers to your intention. That is my own opinion.

<a href="/?p=925" rel="nofollow">Here is a related post</a>.

Dyske March 31, 2010, 3:09am

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At first I thought this was a silly question, but after researching it a bit I found that various languages have made concerted efforts to reduce the amount of capitalization over their histories, including English. Here is from <a href="" rel="nofollow">Wikipedia</a>:
In German, all nouns are capitalized. This was also the practice in Danish before a spelling reform in 1948. It was also done in 18th century English (as with Gulliver's Travels and most of the original 1787 United States Constitution). Luxembourgish, a close relative of German and one of the three official languages of Luxembourg, also still uses capitalization of nouns to this day.
Imagine if we had to capitalize all nouns. That would be a lot of work. Thank God it was changed.

A similar observation is made about the Japanese language by non-native speakers. They cannot understand why Kanji (the complex Chinese characters) has to be used in Japanese because they are actually not necessary. I believe there have been some organized efforts to eliminate or reduce the amount of Kanji. Some believe that it gives the Japanese a disadvantage in global competition because the complexity of Kanji adds to the amount of time spent on writing every piece of communication. The cumulative effect of this inefficiency can easily amount to millions or billions of dollars in loss.

So, in terms of efficiency, I believe English is one of the best.

Dyske March 31, 2010, 2:56am

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My 5 year old daughter used to say "mines". We thought it was funny so we also started using "mines" sometimes. My sister made her a bag that said "mines". Maybe it's not just my daughter; perhaps this is a common mistake by toddlers, and the adults started using it because they thought it was funny.

For toddlers, perhaps the "s" is actually a possessive, as in "mine's". At around that age, claiming their possessions is a big preoccupation, so they might feel that "mine" is not good enough, so they feel the need to add the possessive "s" for the maximum impact.

That's my theory.

Dyske March 16, 2010, 11:01am

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Well, I think you could say "a quarter of a percent", but this does not address the fundamental problem of your question. For instance, what if the number is ".24%"?

Dyske March 3, 2010, 8:00am

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Both should be correct. One is used as a noun, the other used as an adjective. But what I'm not sure about is if there are any differences in nuance. For instance, saying "many apples" and "many of the apples" are quite different in meaning; the former means a lot of apples and the latter is a subset of a larger pool of apples.

Dyske March 1, 2010, 4:08am

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Yes, it is indeed annoying. I see it all the time, and many people even argue that they are right. Some people even ask me, "Hey, how do you spell 'lose'? With one O or two O's?"

I just assumed that this has been going on forever, but you might be right, maybe it's relatively recent.

Dyske September 16, 2009, 7:47am

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I think this is a legal issue (which term should be used for which situations), so only lawyers could answer this properly, but here is my own sense of the difference.

I think the difference becomes clearer if you use "the right". "Release the right" would means that you are handing over your right to someone else. For instance, if you sign a release before appearing in front of a camera, you are not only giving up your right, but also transferring the right to the photographer. The photographer has the right to use your image.

"Waive the right" would simply mean that you are giving up the right, but not transferring it, like waiving the right to sue someone. (In this case, it's not transferable anyway.)

But "release" might also be appropriate for situations that do not involve transferring of rights. If so, the two terms are interchangeable. But again, I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know how these terms are used in the legal world. In the end, that's what matters.

Dyske August 13, 2009, 2:24am

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It is interesting that just by adding or eliminating a single letter, you can imply such a different philosophical meaning.

Check out <a href=" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">this page</a>:

<blockquote>Some people have used the argument that as the anthem is a poem, the author was possibly using poetic licence. When Patrick Castagne was asked personally if this were so, he was adamant that he did not invoke poetic licence. He said he in fact wrote the “correct” word, finds, but changed it when he was overruled by an education official who was his superior.</blockquote>

Unfortunately, the source URL is not working, so I'm not sure how true/factual this is, but if true, the matter is settled. But then, I suppose we could argue that his "superior" meant the statement to be subjunctive. But then, we could argue that as long as Castagne is credited as the author, we should honor his original intention (unless we also credit his superior as a co-writer.).

Either way, I think we can agree that it's not grammatically incorrect because it's a matter of how we interpret it.

Dyske August 2, 2009, 12:23pm

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I would vote for "finds". When I searched the Web for "every boy and girl is", I found <a href=" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">a quote from Hillary Clinton</a>.

<blockquote>every boy and girl is loved and cared for equally, and every family has the hope of a strong and stable future.</blockquote>

But in <a href=" target="_blank rel="nofollow">Merriam-Webster's dictionary of English usage</a>, I found the following:

<blockquote>It is an arguable point whether a phrase like "every boy and girl" is singular or plural.</blockquote>

But this is in a context of trying to avoid sexism.

My argument for using singular is that, if you want to use plural, you should use "all", not "every". Compare the following:

<blockquote>Every boy and girl is wearing a T-shirt.

All boys and girls are wearing T-shirts.</blockquote>

Both say the same thing but place slightly different emphases on how you look at the same fact. The word "every" emphasizes the individuality, and the fact that there are no exceptions. If I just want to communicate the fact that all the kids I saw were wearing T-shirts, I would use "all". (i.e. I may be missing a few who aren't wearing them, but as far as I can see they all seem to be wearing T-shirts.) But, if, for some reason, I'm really impressed by the fact that I couldn't find anyone not wearing a T-shirt, I would use "every".

<blockquote>At this school, every boy and girl is committed to helping the environment.</blockquote>

In this type of statement, you would want to emphasize the individuality. Not only that there are no exceptions, but also that everyone is motivated and committed individually (i.e. Everyone happens to have the same ideal, as opposed to the school having this ideal.). So, it's a matter of style.

This is why I would vote for "finds" in the original example. “Here every creed and race finds an equal place” is making an ideological point. It should emphasize the individuality of "every creed and race". The use of "find" would diminish the point of using "every".

Since "an equal place" is singular also, you might as well make them all agree.

While it may not be grammatically incorrect, I would say "find" is a poor choice stylistically.

Dyske August 1, 2009, 3:01am

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I think this is just a bad sentence. Sometimes it's just better to completely recast the whole sentence. For instance:

<blockquote>As this society becomes more internationalized, the students are expected to know more about other countries and to respect cultural differences.</blockquote>

This essentially says the same thing.

Your sentence has a lot of redundant words.

"being globalized" and "opening to the world" are essentially the same thing. You cannot open to the world without being globalized. Or, you cannot globalize your country without opening to the world.

"of this era" is not necessary. You've already said "modern society", so we know you are talking about this era.

"on the basis of broad knowledge of various places of the world"

Why do you need this at all? You've already said "understanding different countries".

It sounds like it was translated from a different language, or you are trying to squeeze a lot of words into it to make it sound more substantial.

Dyske July 30, 2009, 9:40am

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You are right. I see that someone has already coined the term "Twitter whore" on <a href=" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Urban Dictionary</a>, and the definition is exactly what I described.

Dyske June 16, 2009, 7:09am

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I don't think it's incorrect, but it sounds awkward to me because "as of" usually implies that you sampled a moment of time to see a status of something. In other words, I interpret "as of" as "a particular point in time." For instance:

"As of March 14th, 2009, my stock portfolio was worth $123,456."

It's measuring or sampling something at a particular point in time. The reason why "As of yesterday, we had finished three tasks" sounds awkward to me is because "had finished" implies a duration of time, not a moment in time.

Dyske June 9, 2009, 8:09pm

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