Category: Uncategorized

Wails from My Inbox

Posted on Thursday, October 2, 2014, at 7:21 am

My fellow word nerds often send me cheerfully exasperated emails. I’d like to share a few of them with you … • My recent aggravation is the mispronunciation of the word “divisive” by many people I respect. They prefer to say “divissive,” with a short rather than a long i. These otherwise articulate people are grating …

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Media Watch

Posted on Thursday, August 7, 2014, at 8:13 am

• From a review of an exhibition: “The society had in their possession a card imprinted with a 1872 photograph.” Two booby prizes in one sentence: society is singular, so make it “had in its possession,” not “their.” As for “a 1872 photograph,” is that the way you would say it? The misguided decision not …

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More Ear-itating Word Abuse

Posted on Sunday, August 4, 2013, at 11:07 pm

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star has faded, the erstwhile weight lifter-actor-governor hasn’t quite left the building. Recently, a phonics teacher e-mailed her exasperation with broadcasters who mispronounce the first syllable in “Schwarzenegger,” saying “swartz” instead of “shwartz.” “There IS a difference!” she said. “It’s gotten to the point that it’s like nails on a chalkboard when …

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Pronouncing the Word Blessed

Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at 2:28 pm

We recently received inquiries from some of our readers regarding the proper way to pronounce blessed. The word blessed can be used and pronounced in two different ways. Rule 1. When blessed is used as a verb, it is pronounced with one syllable (blest): Example for the pronunciation blest: Devon is blessed with amazing athletic …

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Definite Ideas About Definite and Indefinite Articles

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009, at 10:13 am

Take a look at this sentence from a restaurant review that was sent in by a reader: The restaurant operates with an efficiency and authority that defy the chaos in the pleasant but cramped room. Is it correct to use the indefinite article an in front of an abstract noun (efficiency)? If so, should we …

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