Category: Prepositions

Compare To vs. Compare With

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, at 8:39 pm

Is there a difference between comparing A to B and comparing A with B? The answer is yes, and it is a difference worth maintaining; but these days, compare to and compare with are in danger of becoming interchangeable. This looks like yet another fight that the grammar patrol is about to lose. When we …

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The Lowdown on Different Than

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 11:04 am

Those who care about language sometimes discover they’ve been misled. Teachers, parents, or other trusted authority figures have been known to proclaim as rules what turn out to be myths, opinions, or whims about English usage. In recent years we have debunked some of these baseless “rules,” and gotten a lot of heat from frustrated …

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Media Watch

Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at 6:29 pm

Here is another bundle of woeful lapses by the print and broadcast media. • Triple trouble from an international news organization: “Garcia graduated law school in California and passed the state’s bar exam, but has been forbidden from practicing law.” Using graduate as a transitive verb here is still frowned on by traditionalists. Make it …

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Capitalizing Composition Titles, Part II

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at 9:53 am

Some may question the need for a two-part series on this esoteric topic. But even those who consider themselves top-notch at identifying parts of speech in a word grouping will find composition-title capitalization a skill worth mastering. Any title of more than two words can be a challenge. How would you capitalize a title such …

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Capitalizing Composition Titles: The Lowdown

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at 7:55 pm

Which words should be capitalized in titles of books, plays, films, songs, poems, essays, chapters, and the like? This is a vexing matter, and policies vary. The time-honored advice—capitalize only the “important” words—doesn’t help much. Aren’t all words in a title important? The following rules for capitalizing composition titles are virtually universal. • Capitalize the …

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