NotPhrase Off Of Needs Eliminating

With [tag]baseball season[/tag] upon us, one of my favorite (not!) NotPhrases is back in constant use, to wit: “There goes a line drive off of the bat of Joe Baseballer.”  Or, “He just got a hit off of pitcher Sam Flamethrower.” I’m here to reaffirm that off of is not just redundant but incorrect.  How […]

To Bork, v.t.; To Sosa, v.i.

During the Supreme Court confirmation hearings over Reagan nominee [tag]Robert Bork[/tag], Democratic venom and personal assassination got so ugly that the word bork became a transitive verb.  “Let’s bork Alberto Gonzalez,” one might hear some in Congress saying today.  The meaning is to destroy the reputation of said person, whether it’s based in fact or not. Now, in […]

Letter Writing a Lost Art

When was the last time you wrote a personal letter to someone?  Now, I realize we all use and abuse e-mail, but how about a genuine, heartfelt handwritten letter in which you poured out your innermost thoughts and emotions? Sadly, I bet there’s a great segment of our population, especially among the young, who have never […]

Those Problematical Gerunds

What’s wrong with this sentence? The boss didn’t like me talking back to him. First, let me define what a gerund is.  In this sentence talking is a gerund, a noun formed from a verb by adding an ing.  Now when you want to modify a gerund, you must use the possessive case.  In the […]

Good Advice, But His Grammar Sucks

On one of my e-mail subscriptions, I received an invitation to read "[tag]10 Ways to Make Your Words Captivate[/tag]" by [tag]Michael Stelzner[/tag]. Now, the man’s ten tips are fine, but his writing is grammar-sorry.  In the third paragraph, he writes, "’Why should I care?,’ you say?"  First off, the comma after the question mark in […]