Chinese Instructions December 1st, 2006 @ 7:50 am PST
Translating Chinese is fun.
The Commonly Confused Words Test March 28th, 2005 @ 7:02 pm PST
Amazing! According to this test I am an English Genius. It was not a surprise to see that I scored a perfect 100%, actually, on the advanced sections. What was shocking was that I scored in the embarrassingly-low 80s on what were supposed to be the simple sections. That, and the fact that I could […]
Typing Monkeys May 10th, 2003 @ 12:32 pm PDT
Give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, the theory goes, and they will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. Give six monkeys one computer for a month, and they will make a mess.
Grammar Matters February 27th, 2003 @ 5:49 pm PST
The “plural apostrophe” (e.g. no dog’s allowed, sofa’s for sale, UGH) is running rampant these days, and it’s not just my imagination. It’s so wrong that I can’t even begin to fathom how anyone could make such a mistake. I hate it when people dismiss it with, “Oh, not everyone’s a grammar freak.” Grammar? You […]
Impact the Itch April 23rd, 2002 @ 10:33 am PDT
Someone commented on my mini-rant that the words “itch” and “impact” are not verbs. The reader seemed to suggest that the appearance of these words in “a dictionary” as verbs is a viable argument for them being accepted that way. My reply: There are many words in “the dictionary” that are not words. You cannot […]
Sir Gawain April 10th, 2002 @ 2:59 pm PDT
This is from an English lit. class; it was written on February 10, 1993 … Sir Gawain and the Green Knight What makes a man a hero? Where lies the line which when crossed changes a mortal man into a legend? Is it at the altar at Canterbury? in the Minotaur’s labyrinth? or is it […]
How to Pronounce the Word Height March 18th, 2002 @ 12:42 pm PST
I want you to stop what you’re doing. I want you to look at the word below. I want you to speak it aloud. height How did it sound? Say it again. Did it rhyme with “right”? It should have. Say it again. Did it rhyme with “byte”? It should have. Say it again. Aloud, […]
Ending Lists March 12th, 2002 @ 11:36 am PST
On list groupings and the correct use of commas Why does it seem that nobody knows the correct way to end a comma-delimited list? Did they stop teaching this after 1980 or something? Let’s review, shall we? First let me explain the philosophy upon which the correct use of “commas in lists” rests. It’s another […]
Grammar December 21st, 2001 @ 11:25 pm PST
“Grammatical English is now the near-exclusive province of the middle-aged and elderly because it hasn’t been formally taught in most schools … for about thirty years. Knowledge of the mechanics of how words, clauses, and phrases are hooked up to form sentences and paragraphs has been withheld from most children for such a long time […]
Top Ten August 20th, 2001 @ 2:04 pm PDT
I laughed out loud at #4 on the list of Top Ten Ways to Torture Your Professor: Hold fast, to your belief that, liberal and seemingly-random, use of, commas in term papers, makes you look, real smart.