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All the English You Will Ever Need

 

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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

December 14, 2018 

albedo:  (noun)  the light reflected off a surface, usually that of a planet or moon, measured on a scale of zero to one, zero being completely non-reflective (such as black), and one being completely reflective (such as a mirror).  Sir, we're going to have to ask you to put on your hat.  The albedo off of your head is disturbing the other fans.

 

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Literally v. Figuratively

"Literally" has literally become a cliché, in that people are literally overusing this word, and often in situations where it literally means the opposite of what they are literally wanting to say (if anything at all).  To review, "literally" means that it really happened.  No "sorts of's."  "No kinda's."  It really happened, exactly as you say.  So if you say, for instance, that you "literally died laughing," then you really died, which makes it a bit of a mystery how you could be saying such a thing, but I digress.  "Figurative," on the other hand, means it's a figure of speech, and it didn't actually happen that way.  Here, it really is "sort of."  So, for instance, if it's really important that you let somebody know that you really didn't die, you can say you "figuratively died laughing."  Of course, to say you "died laughing" is a cliché, too, whether it's literal or figurative.  But, once again, I digress.  The easiest way to keep these two words straight is to stop saying you "literally" did anything.  Come up with something new.  Your readers will appreciate it.

9:17 am pdt 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The worst anybody can do to you is to make you worse than they are.  Earl Eldridge
7:46 am pdt 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Beware the Ides of March!

Let’s face it.  Nobody would give a rip about the ides of anything, much less the Ides of March, if it hadn’t been for William Shakespeare.  In his play Julius Caesar, he has the Soothsayer warn the doomed ruler, “Beware the ides of March.”  (I.ii.66)  More...

7:58 am pst 


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