No matter what talents (not many) he displayed on the floor on "Dancing With the Stars," and no matter how well he runs a professional basketball operation, [tag]Mark Cuban[/tag] can butcher the English language with the best of us. Here’s a NotPhrase he used on TV tonight and one I sometimes use myself: "A whole ‘nother thing." I’m […]
I keep chalking up abuses of the English language for my hoped-for ultimate word on correct English usage in my book Fast Food English. In my English composition class this past week, I sat through (maybe I should say thru, huh?) endless presentations where, without exception, the presenters used there for the possessive their. In general, native English […]
It’s either a large leather suitcase with two compartments, or a combination of two words to form one new word. What is it? Of course, if you read the title, you’ll surmise that it’s portmanteau. What you’re reading here is a portmanteau–a combination of Web and log, or blog. Other notable examples are smog (smoke […]
In tribute to actress [tag]Deborah Kerr[/tag], who passed away yesterday at 86, I offer here a clip of her kiss on the beach with [tag]Burt Lancaster[/tag], arguably the most famous scene in film history, certainly in terms of the sheer number of still photographs showing the kiss (okay, so this has nothing to do with […]
The dictionary definiation of bloviate is "to speak pompously," and if that doesn’t sum up people with causes in America, nothing does. So my guess is that, if you hate Bill O’Reilly, you’re probably a far-left ideologue and/or a bloviator (the two usually go hand in hand). Sorry.
Main verbs often need helper verbs to complete their meaning, and these helpers are called auxiliary verbs. For instance, you’re thinking of going out to dinner, so you say to your roommate: "I may go out to dinner tonight and try that new restaurant." If go is the main verb, what is the auxiliary? Of […]
When you hear sports jock radio and TV hosts using the word quintessential, you have to wonder if the world really understands what’s essential and what’s quintessential? In short, essential means "indispensable," while quintessential means "the most typical." I think most people just opt for quintessential because it sounds so fancy-schmancy without stopping to think about […]
Generally, I hate seeing slang and misused English words suddenly accepted as standard English by the dictionary people (who authorized them anyway?), but a NotWord making its rounds does have several things going for it. Plutonomy is not in any dictionary, so let’s look at its definition courtesy of the blog One Stop Thought Shop: […]
They’re rewriting the English language to make it more phonetic. That’s about the only conclusion I, a non-video-gamer, can draw when I come across words like lewt. Which means? Loot, of course. Just like it sounds. For further reference, check the site TenTonHammer.com.
I’m just going to stick to the real basics of English verb tenses in this posting (no need at this time to muddy the waters with complications like perfect tenses and conditional tenses, etc.). Keeping matters fundamental, let’s say that English has three basic tenses: past, present and future. We’ll start with the present with […]