Friday, February 25, 2011


I love this comic. It reminds me of when I had a teenage boy around the house. I particularly enjoyed it today because I've noticed the same thing Jeremy (the teenager) did: many people misuse the word literal. It's used by "celebrities," talk-show hosts, radio commentators, and lots of others who do not truly mean "literal." I guess they are trying to make the point that what they say is important or worth remembering, but that's not the meaning of the word. English has so many words, it shouldn't be that difficult to use one that makes sense,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Let us count the ways...

"A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully."

Notice anything? Some of the words are a bit old-fashioned, with alternate spelling choices, but this sentence has the syllable "ough" pronounced in 8 different ways. It is no wonder that English is such a beast to learn as a second language. Add that to the fact that English has more words than pretty much any other language and be glad you learned it as a child.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Day question

This may be an odd Valentine post, but I've been wondering something.

Is it Valentines Day (a day of many valentines),

Valentine's Day (a day belonging to a specific valentine), or

Valentines' Day (a day belonging to many valentines)?

It is the same conundrum as Mothers Day....Mother's Day, or Mothers' Day (Fathers Day too). Most often the apostrophes are just ignored or forgotten. Maybe it's just as well since we have a difficult time deciding where they go anyway.