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11 posts tagged with english and usage. (View popular tags)
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A sign of the times?

I just had someone tell me that it is correct to close a letter with “Signed, [Mr. Letter Writer].” It’s the use of the word “Signed” that I find strange and just wrong. I have never in my life seen this and am having a hard time believing it is acceptable. Can anyone enlighten me?
posted by Dolley on Dec 13, 2013 - 36 answers

Is there any difference between the three sentences?

1)I should be going. 2) I shoud get going. 3)I should go. Please tell me the difference of the nuance between the three. Thank you.
posted by mizukko on Oct 23, 2013 - 25 answers

How different is different?

English language friends: Why do we use the word “different” when it doesn’t appear to be necessary? [more inside]
posted by bryon on Apr 17, 2012 - 18 answers

Looking for a good book on English grammar.

Looking for a good book on English grammar. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Aug 31, 2011 - 18 answers

y rose to x from x-δ

Why does the New York Times write "unemployment rose to 10% from 5%" rather than "unemployment rose from 5% to 10%"? I trip over this formulation and have to go back and reread the clause every time. Is the goal to increase clarity of avoid confusion in some way? How so? This doesn't seem to be standard American English, and it's certainly not usual in the UK. [more inside]
posted by caek on Jul 15, 2011 - 14 answers

Is "What's your favorite lunch menu?" appropriate question for ESL textbook?

ELT-filter: I'm arguing that "What's your favorite lunch menu?" is Japanese-English phrasing that shouldn't be included in an English textbook. [more inside]
posted by planetkyoto on May 9, 2011 - 37 answers

Indefinite articles used with acronyms starting with U

Why do we precede acronyms starting with the letter U with 'a' instead of 'an', e.g. "a USB key" or "a UFO"? Acronyms starting with a consonant are frequently preceded by "an" because consonants' names have a different spelling than the letters themselves, e.g. M as em and H as aitch, therefore "an HIV outbreak" or "an MRI". However, U's name is spelled u, and acronyms that start with other vowels are preceded by 'an', e.g. "an ABC license". What's the deal?
posted by BigSky on Feb 12, 2010 - 31 answers

"originality consists in returning to the origin" -Gaudi

Correct use: "consists of" vs "consists in" [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Oct 6, 2006 - 9 answers

Correct Usage

So there has been an invasion of portuguese man of war jellyfish locally..... [more inside]
posted by sgobbare on Jul 29, 2006 - 16 answers

All your base are off of us

Did "based on" beget "based off of"? [more inside]
posted by Mr Stickfigure on May 16, 2006 - 28 answers

Academical?

Academical? While listening to NPR this afternoon, a UVa student giving a tour used the word "academical" in describing a portion of UVa's campus . The use of "academical" struck me as sounding very odd although it is arguably correct. Is it all academic?
posted by Dick Paris on Jul 3, 2004 - 10 answers

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