Category: Definitions

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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In Behalf Of vs. On Behalf Of

Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at 3:24 pm

Sometimes in writing and speaking we arrive at a phrase that forms a fork in the road to expression. Ideally, we can distinguish one path from the other, even if by subtlety. Other forks pose a greater challenge. Each way looks the same, and the sounds from both are familiar. We pick our path and …

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That’s What That Means?

Posted on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at 11:02 pm

I know many avid readers, and I wish I read as much as they do. But to my surprise, very few of them read with a dictionary on hand. When I ask why, the answer is some variation on “It ruins the mood” or “I want to relax, not study” or the most self-deluded one: …

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Striking the Surplus from Tautologies

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017, at 11:37 am

The English language includes the tools it needs to communicate with beauty, depth, and precision. Like any other healthy entity, it also moves most swiftly without extra weight. In the world of words, flabby noun phrases are known as tautologies. Merriam-Webster online defines a tautology as “1a: needless repetition of an idea, statement, or word.” …

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