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All the English You Will Ever Need


The English language is constantly evolving, both the words we use and the rules that control the usage of those words.  Therefore, it is impossible to ever have a definitive grammar guide, or, if you will, a Complete Guide of American English.  And that’s our excuse.



Word of the Every So Often

May 22, 2019

limn:  (verb)  (pronounced:  lim, with a silent "n,", just like "limb," which has a silent "b") to depict or describe in painting or words.  Once you finish limning what you saw, you're free to go.


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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Wages of Sin...

Anybody who has ever met an evangelical Christian or read a church marquee or seen the guy wearing the multi-coloured Afro wig holding up a sign at major sporting events knows the quote from the Book of Romans in the New Testament:  “The wages of sin is death....” (6:23)  I’m not doubting that the wages of sin are death, but as that is worded, it’s just bad grammar.  “Wages” is the subject of the sentence, and the verb is conjugated by the subject, not the subject’s modifiers, in this case “of sin.”  The wages...are....

And here’s the thing:  That phrase wasn’t written in English to begin with.  More than likely, it was written in Latin, and Latin has very strict rules on conjugation.  So there really is no argument that we’re messing with the word of God.  We’ve just canonized bad grammar.  Simply put, when it was translated into English, it was translated incorrectly, at least in the King James Version, the Cokesbury Version, the New American Standard Bible, the Gideons’ version (in both English and Spanish), and who knows how many countless others.  But not in the Oxford Study Edition of the New English Bible.  They translate that particular passage as:  “For sin pays a wage, and the wage is death...” which is grammatically correct, and it means the same thing.

But what if it didn’t mean the same thing?  Even if we’re not supposed to question the word of God, it’s probably not a bad idea to question the men and women who have translated God’s words.  Now go forth, and use bad grammar no more.

7:55 am pst 

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