tarts: How to use Colons and Semi-Colons (for Jess)
… Listening to most people’s public English feels like watching somebody use a...– David Foster Wallace, “Authority and American Usage” (via saramcpherson)
Stuff White People Like: Grammar →
White people love rules. It explains why so they get upset when people cut in line, why they tip so religiously and why they become lawyers. But without a doubt, the rule system that white people love the most is grammar. It is in their blood not only to use perfect grammar but also to spend significant portions of time pointing out the errors of others. When asking someone about their biggest...
I love grammar a lot.
A lot. A LOT. Two words, people.
alternate vs alternative
alternate, alternative, adjectives The adjectives alternate and alternative, say many commentators, are often confused; they advise keeping them separate. The senses recommended are “occuring or succeeding by turns” for alternate, and “offering or expressing a choice” for alternative. Via
For future reference since I can't seem to keep...
andeventhis: Nonplus(sed) v.tr. To put at a loss as to what to think, say, or do; bewilder. n. A state of perplexity, confusion, or bewilderment. Origin: Latin, nōn plūs lit., not more, no further, i.e., a state in which nothing more can be done Bemused adj. bewildered or confused adj. lost in thought, preoccupies Origin: bewildered + confused
Inquiry vs Enquiry
In American English, the two are actually used interchangeably to mean a request for information or a systematic investigation. In British English, however, there is a distinction: enquiry is a simple request for information while inquiry is a formal investigation.
I didn't say she stole my money →
inky: This sentence has seven different meanings, depending on the stressed word: I didn’t say she stole my money — someone else said it. I didn’t say she stole my money — I didn’t say it. I didn’t say she stole my money — I only implied it. I didn’t say she stole my money — I said someone did, not necessarily her. I didn’t say she stole my money — I considered it borrowed, even though she...
By request of ncroal, here’s a clarification on two oft-confused words from a compendium that I’ll be citing a lot: “Cache” comes from the French verb cacher, meaning “to hide,” and in English is pronounced exactly like the word “cash.” But reporters speaking of a cache (hidden hoard) of weapons or drugs often mispronounce it to sound like cachet—“ca-SHAY”—a word with a very...
For all intensive purposes
brilliam: I know there’s a list like twenty pages long of these misinterpreted idioms, but this is probably my least favourite. For the record, it’s “for all intents and purposes.”