Category: Definitions

Abbreviation, Acronym, or Initialism: Fixing (not Mixing) Identity

Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 11:00 pm

American English often applies ways to shorten words and phrases for convenience and economy. This is particularly true in business, government, the military, and perhaps even more so now in texting and social media. For those with an interest in grammar, the question can become whether we are using an abbreviation, an acronym, or an …

Read More

Idiom: The DNA of Cliché

Posted on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at 11:00 pm

We recently revisited the subject of the cliché, which dictionary.com defines as "a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse." All clichés begin as idioms, which are "expressions whose meanings are not predictable from the usual …

Read More

Some Confusing Words

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at 11:00 pm

We have many words in the English language that have subtle differences between them. If you know these differences, you will be confident that you are conveying the meaning you intend. The five sets of confusing words we will cover today are: Adverse vs. Averse Uninterested vs. Disinterested Suppose vs. Supposed Oriented vs. Orientated Democratic Party vs. Democrat Party Adverse vs. Averse Adverse = unfavorable or antagonistic in …

Read More

A Midsummer’s Musing on Miscellany

Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Our regular readers might note that our study of American English periodically includes smaller but still noteworthy items we collect from research and reader correspondence. It's been several months since our last musings on miscellany, so we thought we'd return for more as we approach midsummer 2020. (To review miscellany from the past two years, …

Read More

To Restrict or Not to Restrict: That Is the Question

Posted on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Who, that, or which; restrictive or non-restrictive: Most of us have at some point had to grapple with interpretation, pronoun choice, and punctuation for a statement containing essential or non-essential information. For example, what would be succinct within the following statements? Jayla always orders the surf and turf that the master chef prepares for her. …

Read More

1 2 3 39