Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

It’s National Grammar Day

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

 March forth on March fourth in support of National Grammar DayReally.

There’s even a society with a website — The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, “An online journal in which members of The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar document their noble efforts. ” — and a music video featuring Grammar Girl herself.

Bob’s Quick Guide to the Apostrophe

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

A coworker passed this on to me today:

Bob's quick guide to the apostrophe

I think it’s funny – grammer is just not that difficult.

Apostrophes are actually a little more complicated than Bob admits – Grammar Girl addresses them with respect to P’s and Q’san abbreviation, years, and making plural words possessive.

Taking Reservations by Money

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

My wife recently organized a fund-raising dinner in conjunction with a writing workshop.  She needed solid commitments in order to plan the food properly, and this is often a problem.

She commented at one point

“I’m not taking reservations by phone, I’m taking them by money.”


Friday, September 11th, 2009

Years ago, when I still controlled the bath water for my son, we had a humorous (to me, not him) exchange.

He asked me to make it “warmer”.  So I did.

He asked again for “warmer”.  So I made it warmer.

After several more exchanges, he’s in tears demanding “NO!  Waaarrrmmer”.

I finally figured it out – you have “Cold” and “Hot”, and “Warm” is in between.  The water was too hot, and he wanted it moved to “warm”.

I guess it makes sense, but it is not standard usage of the words.

In a similar vein, when you “turn up the air conditioning”, do you turn up the power (making it colder) or turn up the temperature setting (making it warmer)?  Perhaps it depends on whether you have central air or a window unit.

Be Free Call

Friday, July 31st, 2009

I had a language parsing error at Citi Market yesterday.  After I paid for my groceries, the clerk tried to sell me something, as they are wont to do.  He asked me if I had heard of the “Be Free Call.”.

“The what?” I asked?

“The Be Free Call.” he repeated.

“I guess not. [sigh]  Why don’t you tell me about it?” I reluctantly admitted.

He proceeded to tell me how I could return any meat I was uncomfortable with.

Due to the BeeF reCall.  Sheesh.