Category: Definitions

Putting Out the Patrol for Made-Up Words

Posted on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at 2:15 pm

Estimates of English’s total word count vary, but linguists agree the number ranks near the top of the world’s vocabularies. A May GrammarBook newsletter article cited English as having as many as 300,000 distinctly usable words. With so many residents in a vernacular, impostors posing as real words are bound to slip in. They start as mistakes …

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Stubborn Stinkaroos

Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at 1:01 pm

Some would say that the 2012 election year’s political dialogue divided the country into the obscenely ultra-rich one percent and the ninety-nine percent who comprise the poor, the shrinking middle class and the, I guess you could say, tastefully affluent. Compare that with the literary one-percenters, a mulish minority of nitpickers who believe “proper” speaking and …

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Understanding Verb Particles

Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at 12:40 pm

As noted in a recent GrammarBook e-newsletter article, verbs form both the engine and the steering wheel driving our language. They determine the direction and speed of a sentence. Sometimes, we’ll spot other words riding with them in the passenger seat. They’re not verbs, but they still attach themselves with seat belts secured. We accept and …

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Reflexive Pronouns

Posted on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, at 12:59 pm

Loyal reader Bill P. and others have written in commenting on what seems to be a growing misuse of words known as reflexive pronouns. Have you either heard or seen in writing a sentence like this, “Please give it to John or myself”? Is that right or wrong? Let’s have a look. Rule: Reflexive pronouns—myself, himself, herself, …

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I vs. Me

Posted on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 5:20 pm

You don’t need to learn how to diagram a sentence to be able to learn the rules of grammar and punctuation. Let us help you use pronouns correctly without any unnecessary jargon. First, let’s define a pronoun: a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. We can divide pronouns into three categories: …

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