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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

June 21, 2018 

bollocks:  (noun)  testicles; nonsense; (interjection) golly; darn.  Oh, bollocks!  You believed that wanker's bollocks, and now you really got your bollocks in a twist.

 

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

That's So Awesome It's Amazing!

Did you see that car Larry bought?  It’s awesome!  The upholstery is amazing!

Really?  I mean, it’s just a Chevy.  And the upholstery is just plastic.  How can either of those be awesome or amazing?  Unless, of course, you have an awfully low threshold of “amazing” and “awesome,” or you have a rather pathetic vocabulary.

The births of my children were awe inspiring.  They were events that were so profound, they changed the way I looked at the world.  They were truly awesome.  When compared with that, saying that it is awesome when you get extra French fries just doesn’t seem right.  Seeing a flying saucer land in the mall’s parking lot would be amazing.  Getting a good parking spot... not so much.

The problem, linguistically, is that when you overuse absolute terms it weakens the language.  It’s why “awesome” and “amazing” really don’t mean anything anymore.  Because of that, if something is truly awe-inspiring, unless you want it to seem mundane, then you really can’t say “awesome.”  Ditto with “amazing.” 

And while we’re at it, consider the words “love” and “hate.”  “Love,” no longer becomes a term used solely for the strongest emotion you can imagine, but it becomes a term for anything.  How can you “love” a coat the same as you love your spouse?  Linguistists also warn us that language is how we think.  If we don’t have terms for absolute things, then we cannot think in absolutes.  Maybe the reason why so many people have trouble staying with people they “love” is because that’s not what love means to them.  It means the same thing you do with a coat when it’s worn out. 

8:00 am pdt 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

National Tell A Joke Day

Let's face it.  August is rather devoid of meaningful holidays.  Not to put down such important holidays as National Watermelon Day on the 3rd, Wiggle Your Toes Day on the 6th, or National Dog Day, which shares the 26th with National Women's Equality Day.  By "meaningful," we mean days that you actually get off work for, such as Labor Day, or a holiday that at least gives us yet another reason to drink, like St. Patrick's Day, the Fourth or July, or... well, pretty much every holiday.  So here at HGP we've chose National Tell a Joke Day on August 16 as our candidate for the next Federal Holiday.

There is scant evidence anywhere that this is actually a holiday.  Nobody seems to know who created it or when it first was celebrated.  It has no national proclamations, and no one gets the day off... yet.  And aside from a few opportunistic online greeting cards, nobody does anything for this holiday... except tell jokes.  But here at the Press, we happen to be big fans of jokes.  So here’s our official joke for National Tell A Joke Day: 

A duck without a bill walks into a rhinoplasty clinic and asks the receptionist, “Do you do same day surgery?”  To which she answers, “No.”  “That’s OK,” says the duck.  “You can bill me later.”

8:34 am pdt 


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