Making the World More Understandable

Category Archives: Usage

My thoughts and comments on how we use words – the building blocks of the English language.

How Latin is Killing English

How Latin is Killing English

A recent Grammarly blog included a great sign that actually had very little to do with the blog itself. The sign reads, “What do you do when you realize that Latin grammar makes more sense than English grammar?” I’ve never actually studied Latin, so I don’t know for sure that it makes more sense grammatically,… Continue Reading

Going Too Far with Gender Neutrality

When being specific could be wrong, when referring to a person of unknown gender, it is better to be general than specific. And, job positions ought to be neutral. Male or female, someone is a server or a flight attendant. However, I believe people are taking gender neutrality too far. The idea for this blog… Continue Reading

Writing, Editing & Word Smithing

I recently let my sister rant about the term Value Proposition and why it annoys her. And a very good rant it was. I try to allow my sister her opinions (like I have a choice) and yet, I must defend the term “wordsmith.” Jen defined “word-smithing” as editing. There’s actually more to it. Dictionary.com… Continue Reading

1 Space or 2, Lives in the Balance

My sister recently posted an article from January 2011 on my Facebook page about how two spaces after a period is absolutely the wrong thing to do. My friends generally agreed. Because said social media wouldn’t let me find the post again, I went to everyone’s buddy, Google, and searched for it. One result was… Continue Reading

What is a Paradigm Shift?

Before we can have a shift, we need to know what a paradigm is. Once again, I went to my friend dictionary.com for the official definition. There were several, I’m listing the relevant one here: A framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific… Continue Reading

Is “Twerk” Really a Word?

Admission number 1: I’m not sure I would recognize a twerk if it were performed on my coffee table while I’m watching Criminal Minds. Admission number 2: I fell for the hype that the Oxford English Dictionary added “twerk” to its hallowed pages. The truth is that the Oxford Dictionaries Online, a source for the… Continue Reading

Why Not Adnoun?

So, I’ve been wondering why a word that describes a verb is an adverb, but a word that describes a noun is an adjective – instead of an adnoun. Finally, I went to the all-knowing Google and came up with some interesting things. There Is an Adnoun! I was surprised to find that Google did… Continue Reading