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Joined: July 5, 2011  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 3
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Recent Comments

"Insurances" still sounds ridiculous and, frankly, as though the speaker had not enough energy to say "types of insurance", or "insurance policies". Regardless of what archaic citations might be unearthed, the usage seems to have crawled out of infomercial / infotainment / Order before midnight tonight / But wait ! We'll double that offer and send you TWO gizbos for the low, low price of $19.99 [insert in almost unreadble type: plus S & H charges]. Sorry, it just feels sleazy.

Verbivore July 6, 2011, 10:21am

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Just my two cents from Northern Wisconsin, USA: A great example of Ontario-speak (perhaps not limited to Ontario, but that is where I heard it, and it is precious!) First is the place where we park cars: garage. We say guh-rahj' , two syllables. They say graaj, one syllable, rhymes with badge. The other is batteries: we say baad'-der-eez and my Canadian friend says batt'reez, which sounds British. No big deals, just fun.

Verbivore July 5, 2011, 1:12pm

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I must attribute "verbivore" to Richard Lederer, who, according to my research, coined the word in the early 1980's. Brilliant!

This has been a most informative and enjoyable (not to mention _eight_ year) thread! Since I could not coax an em-dash out of my keyboard using any of the advice mentioned, I retreated to the use of parentheses; however, my joy at the longevity of such a discussion remains undiminished.

I learned to omit the spaces on either side of an em-dash, although when I read the posts about left justification and wordsrunningtogether I began to rethink the "rule". I have to agree that not using spaces _does_ make it harder to read, at least for me. Perhaps my eyes are biased; I must remember that language is ultimately relative. English evolves daily, despite the best efforts of many who find comfort in the way they learned to write and speak their particular version. I admit to lingua-snobbery. Regardless, the point is to faithfully struggle to represent visually what a speaker (or thinker) is trying to convey. In that light, I vote for a large degree of flexibility in the use of whatever little marks -- or lack thereof -- will perform that difficult work, all carried out in the presence of deliberate consistency per writer, source, or publication.

Verbivore July 5, 2011, 10:26am

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