I'm interested in learning about the details of English grammar and usage, and also maybe in picking up some prescriptions or guidelines for writing well-styled/balanced prose (a la Strunk & White, though my understanding is that there's potentially a great many schools of thought to look at here). The kicker: my academic background is in math and computer science, including the very formal reaches of things like logic, formal languages, etc. Is there any way that this stuff can help me learn that stuff? [more inside]
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?
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.
English language friends: Why do we use the word “different” when it doesn’t appear to be necessary? [more inside]
Looking for a good book on English grammar. [more inside]
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]
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]
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?
Correct use: "consists of" vs "consists in" [more inside]
So there has been an invasion of portuguese man of war jellyfish locally..... [more inside]
Did "based on" beget "based off of"? [more inside]
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?