Verily I Say Unto Thee... archive
Tag : English

How Many Ways Can You Spell ‘Nox’?

Categories: Fixing English
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2017.11.29

Two hundred twenty is the answer I came up with. “Nox”, of course, is the Roman goddess of the night. But more than that, it’s a sound — and the simplest way to spell that sound in English.   220 Variations These are the 220 variations of “nox” I came up with. (Copyright © 2017[…]

Why I’ve Been Using The Word ‘Regressive’

You might have noticed a recent change in word choice on my part. I’m not sure when, but a few months ago I began using “regressive” in places where I had formerly used the word “conservative”. This was an intentional choice. As always, I attempt to select the most accurate, precise words, both in my[…]

Google Is A Verb, Like It Or Not

Categories: Internet, Language
Tags: , ,
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.09.08

Google building in Austin, Texas (Copyright © 2011 by Wil C. Fry.) I recall saying it — though I’m not sure if I ever posted online about this — “Google is not a verb”. This likely arose from a bit of language snobbery to which I’m susceptible occasionally. I was wrong, of course. As far[…]

‘Word Crimes’, by Weird Al Yankovic

Categories: Grammar, Language, Music
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2014.07.18

I’ll rarely blatantly promote a commercially produced music video. If you ask me, most of them aren’t worth the hundreds of thousands (or millions) of dollars required to produce them. But this one is worth watching, I think:  

Words That Bug Me: Doubled-Up Abbreviations

Categories: Words That Bug Me
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.07.09

Remember the “FBI: Female Body Inspector” T-shirts? I first saw one in the 1980s, and I know they were still for sale in the late 1990s (edit: and they are still for sale). That’s not what I’m talking about; it’s just a sexist joke on a shirt. I’m talking about when an abbreviation already exists[…]

Phixing English: Let’s Start With the “ph”

Categories: Fixing English
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2014.04.16

A few of the hundreds of words using the silly “ph” spelling instead of “f” If there is an international board of secret scholars somewhere whose job it is to fix the English language, I really want to suggest they start with the unnecessary letters like C and X — neither makes a sound that[…]

Words That Bug Me: ‘Kiddos’

Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2013.12.10

“Kiddos” has been around for a while. The Oxford English Dictionary (here) and other online resources say it’s just an informal “friendly or slightly condescending form of address”. I’m fine with that definition. My complaint is about when parents use the term for their children: “Here’s a picture of the kiddos”, they’ll say with a[…]

White House Diction Lessons

Categories: Fixing English, Government
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2013.04.26

There’s a new White House Tumblr page, and the first entry includes an image with this lettering: “ANIMATED GIFs (HARD ‘G’)”. First, let me say I’m proud that they didn’t put an apostrophe in “GIFs”, as so many on the internet seem to do these days.

Attack Of The Commas And Present Tense

Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: 2013.03.31

We all know the English language is still in flux. It’s a living, evolving set of rules and words. But sometimes that evolution produces strange byproducts, like this collection of words and punctuation from CBS News: Though, TV Guide is reporting that Lifetime is now, too, canceling the show. Let’s try that again, with more[…]

Words That Bug Me: “Out Of” In Sports

Categories: Sports, Words That Bug Me
Comments: 4 Comments
Published on: 2012.12.29

I’ve you’ve watched or listened to a sports event broadcast lately, you’ve heard at least one of the commentators say “out of” when they meant “from”. It’s getting worse, and it bugs the hell out of me. “James Johnson, the quarterback, is out of Billings, Montana”, they’ll say. I’ve got news for them. Unless the[…]

Words That Bug Me: ‘Price Point’

Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2012.08.12

Yes, I’ve been watching too many episodes of ‘House Hunters’. But it bugs me when people say “price point” when they mean price range, or simply price.

Words That Bug Me: Poorly Shortened Words

Comments: 5 Comments
Published on: 2012.05.26

One of my many pet peeves is shortened words. Well, words or phrases that are shortened poorly. For example, cellular telephone has been shortened to cell in the U.S. Fortunately, many people actually say phone, which is much better. Why? Phone already means telephone. Cell, on the other hand, never meant telephone. It referred to[…]

Fixing The English Language

Categories: Fixing English
Comments: No Comments
Published on: 2005.04.23

[Begun April 23, 2005. Never finished or polished.] Every child born and raised in the United States has asked about it at least once, except maybe those who are born vegetables. And every person from a foreign land who tries to learn English (even British English) wonders about it as well. “Why does the English[…]

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