Posts Tagged ‘grammar’

Monday Medley

What we read while our goals were mysteriously disallowed…

Monday Medley

What we read while kind of wishing we had at least a little volcanic ash to gaze at above:

  • Whenever the one of us who has the Canadian general interest magazine, The Walrus (slogan: “Canada’s best magazne”), in his Google Reader wonders why he still has it in his Google Reader, it comes out with the feature on Toronto rapper and one-time Degrassi star, Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake. The article also dives into the history of Canadian rap (there’s a Snow reference!) and the changing face of rap as a genre. And it’s Tim, by the way. He’s the one with The Walrus in his Google Reader.
  • On the topic of grammar, there’s plenty of miscues among the “40 Dumbest Tax Day Signs.” Our personal favorite is No. 2; nothing’s dumber than putting an apostrophe 20 letters before it’s supposed to be.

Monday Medley

What we read while Tim Tebow cried…

Stylish

9780205309023Who died and put Strunk and White in charge of the English language?

If you talk to anyone who takes the rules of grammar and usage seriously, the names Strunk and White are bound to come up. The Elements of Style, the “little book” that was originally self-published by Professor William Strunk, Jr. at Cornell University and then, fifty years ago, was edited and mass produced by his former student, E.B. White, has become the definitive authority for amateur grammarians.

Wondering what constitutes a split infinitive? Check Strunk and White. Need to know when to use a semicolon? Check Strunk and White. What’s the difference between “shall” and “will”? Check Strunk and White.

But where exactly does their authority come from?

On the one hand, it comes from the fact that the snobs who always correct you when you misuse the subjunctive mood and wince when you use “good” as an adverb generally worship at the alter of Strunk and White. Its brevity and sardonic tone (“Prestigious: Often an adjective of last resort. It’s in the dictionary, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it.”) help to make it handy for every show-off on the go. Continue reading

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