Archive for the ‘Grammar’ Category

Happy Patricks

March 17, 2009

Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like a good cake wreck.

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Happy Grammar Day!

March 4, 2009

In case you haven’t already heard about it from cool places like the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar or Mighty Red Pen,  today is National Grammar Day.

If you appreciate good grammar, be sure to visit the sites above and celebrate with a high-fiber meal tonight (fiber is good for the colon).

Just try not to be a jerk or damage any federal property.

What we need now

February 23, 2009

Profound truths can be simply said, but what we need now are concrete solutions, not quotable verses. President Obama may be speaking at a higher grade level than President Bush, but so far, he appears no more adept at offering us precise answers. The President can use his words – simple or complex – to educate or to obfuscate. The choice is his.

Elvin Lim

The haircut’s in charge here

February 21, 2009


Photo by Sara M. Ralph

Stress and grammar

February 4, 2009

The premise may be a bit of a stretch, but the recent MSNBC article “Is stress pushing spelling snobs over the edge” might be worth reading if, like me, you cringe at the site of a misplaced apostrophe, unnecessary quotation mark or preposition at the end of the sentence.

Birmingham bans apostrophes

January 30, 2009

A city in England apparently overwhelmed by complaints over the punctuation of certain street signs has decided to throw in the towel on apostrophes, according to a Telegraph article that reads like a piece from The Onion.

The Birmingham City Council recently said goodbye to the apostrophe on signs for St. Paul’s Square and other streets in the city, despite understandable protests from folks like John Richards, the founder of what sounds like an Onion-fabricated organization named the Apostrophe Protection Society:

“This is setting a terrible example,” Mr Richards said. “It seems retrograde, dumbing down really. All over Birmingham, and in other cities, teachers are trying to teach children correct grammar and punctuation. Now children will go around Birmingham and see utter chaos.”

Mr Richards suggested the move could prove to be the first step towards linguistic anarchy. “If you don’t have apostrophes,” he said, “is there any point in full stops, or semi-colons, or question marks? Is there any point in punctuation at all?”

Of course, the article also notes that the city has been “quietly phasing out apostrophes since the 1950s.”

High standards

January 4, 2009

From Nothing To Do With Arbroath

Exhausted fingers

December 18, 2008

“In yesterday’s column about badminton, I misspelled the name of Guatemalan player Kevin Cordon. I apologize. In my defense, I want to note that in the same column I correctly spelled Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarak, Poompat Sapkulchananart and Porntip Buranapraseatsuk. So by the time I got to Kevin Cordon, my fingers were exhausted. “

-Dave Barry, correcting a misspelling in a column published by the Miami Herald.

This and a round-up of many other noteable media errors and corrections from 2008 are covered at Regret The Error.

Grammar: Bailout receives a Word of the Year nod

December 2, 2008

A word used frequently with the massive number $700 billion in recent months has been named the 2008 Merriam-Webster Dictionary Word of the Year.

Bailout, which means “a rescue from financial distress” bested vet, socialism and maverick for the honor. The word was chosen because it received the highest intensity of look-ups in the online dictionary in the shortest period of time.

Other words that made the top 10 include: bipartisan, trepidation, precipice, rogue, misogyny and turmoil.

See a pattern?

Grammar: You say apparel, they say aperal

November 26, 2008