The fate of the world depends on finding an answer to this question: Which is more grammatically correct -- I'll meet you at IHOP or I'll meet you at the IHOP? If grammar has no opinion, what is the most common formulation? [more inside]
posted by angrycat
on Jun 12, 2014 -
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 -
I am required to bring a "word of the day" to my Toastmasters club's next meeting. This word should be an interesting and useful word that will expand everyone's command of the English language and ideally would be fun to use. Twist:
I want it to be Thanksgiving or holiday season related if possible. My google-fu is failing me because I keep getting results meant for children's crossword puzzles ("pilgrim", "turkey", etc.). I'm looking for something more along the lines of "puritanical" or something like that. Can be historical, related to feelings or gratitude or even satirical of the holiday.
posted by halseyaa
on Nov 25, 2013 -
I'm on a dating site and I've noticed that in the profiles and messages of some non-native English speakers there's a pattern of irregular spacing around commas. I don't believe that it is a random typographical error, as I have seen it repeatedly by different writers.
Here's an example: "I like to go to the party ,park,movies ,I like to go hike ,swimming ,travel "
The above example is from a native Arabic speaker. Is this related to the grammatical construction of a particular language, differences in keyboards, or something else?
posted by aspen1984
on Aug 29, 2013 -
You know how semicolons are used to separate items in a series if the items themselves have commas? What if only one in the series uses commas? Such as: I'd like a jug of whiskey; sacks of flour, coffee, and bananas; and a glass or water. [more inside]
posted by angrycat
on Aug 22, 2013 -
I couldn't answer this when my Polish friend asked me why the letter changed sound, does anyone else know?
posted by dash_slot-
on Aug 12, 2013 -
I graduated high school having been in french immersion and when I graduated I did the testing and I was offically bilingual. Hurray! However, that was over 10 years ago and I have hardly spoken it since I graduated. Now, suddenly, my job wants me to get my french proficiency tested to see if I can satisfy the required language requirements for my branch. (We need to have X# of people able to speak French because a percent of our clients speak french as their first language, and right now we're down a person apparently). Au secours! [more inside]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson
on Jul 30, 2013 -
Guys, I've got some questions about commas. Apparently everything I thought I knew is wrong? Help. [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa
on Jul 23, 2013 -
It drives me insane when someone says "request for," e.g. "I requested for a seat change." Isn't it just "I requested a seat change"? This is different from when someone says "I made a request for a seat change." That doesn't bother me. Googling doesn't help me with the answer for this. Am I wrong for this to feel like nails on a blackboard?
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper
on Jul 18, 2013 -
How would you use hyphens and en dashes in the following phrase: "one to three year jail sentence"? [more inside]
posted by Ollie
on Jun 20, 2013 -
Is it rude to refer to someone in the third person (he/she) while they are present? [more inside]
posted by Shouraku
on Jun 19, 2013 -
In athletics, do events named "boys 100m" or "girls javelin" have an apostrophe? That is, should they rightly be "boys' 100m" and "girls' javelin"? It seems that the standard usage for grownup events is "men's" and "women's", but I'm unsure. Opinions?
posted by Jehan
on Jun 11, 2013 -
Hello, I'm having some difficulty getting a conclusive answer to the question of which is more "proper" grammatically and in academia. When referring to "blacks" and "whites" in society, I used to write them without quotes until a professor corrected me. However, when I use quotes now, some people disagree. Could you all help me find the correct usage? Professors explanation inside... [more inside]
posted by Knigel
on Mar 10, 2013 -
Whenever it comes up while I'm texting I come to an impasse. I know that I don't want to type the whole word because I have a dumbphone and I want to minimize thumb-wear. If I were writing a novel I would write it as 'cause
, but I'm not so it's still too long. The phonetic cuz
is clear and concise but somehow doesn't fit my personality or the tone of most of my communications. I started using cos
but for some reason I associate that with UK English and I'm from the states and it doesn't quite feel right. What do you use and why, if there is a why.
posted by TheRedArmy
on Feb 27, 2013 -
My wife has organized a 5k as a fundraiser for her school. The event website lists it as the "First Annual"
race. She got a nitpicky email chastising her her about it, complaining that it should be the "Inaugural"
race. What do you think, and how should she respond? [more inside]
posted by RevRob330
on Feb 15, 2013 -
In Chicago style, or barring that, in Generally Accepted Historical Practice, how should one capitalize the following sentence, which discusses the "Isthmus of Panama" (which is undoubtedly capitalized when it appears in full): "The canal crossed the i
sthmus." or "The canal crossed the I
sthmus."? (My CMS subscription has lapsed and I can't afford a re-up, alas.)
posted by flibbertigibbet
on Dec 5, 2012 -
Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
posted by obloquy
on Dec 4, 2012 -
Please help settle a grammar disagreement.
My Boyf and I are having a grammar disagreement and I was hoping that the wonderful Askme members could help settle it.
If someone states "We don't do X" which of the following would you assume was correct?
A: That the reference to 'X' applies to the past, present and the future.
B: That the reference to 'X' applies to the past and present.
C: That the reference to 'X' applies to the past only.
Context is the sentence "We don't go on on Holiday".
posted by Faintdreams
on Jul 24, 2012 -
Is there a term for, or linguistic function fulfilled by, the phrases "no yeah" and/or "yeah no" when used for the purpose of agreeing?
posted by CitrusFreak12
on Jul 18, 2012 -
Apostrophe help: System's' Anlaysis. Wiki
does not have one, and neither does this page
. Talk page
says it should, but it shouldn't. Brethower
(big name in the field) doesn't use one. I'm writing a resume for employers who maybe-do, maybe-don't have familiarity with the field. Should I say "System's Analysis," "Systems' Analysis," or "Systems Analysis?"
posted by rebent
on Jun 7, 2012 -
Grammar: Is it better to say that a committee "will be implementing a new policy" or "will implement a new policy"?
I favour the latter because it seems more succinct; however, all my colleagues use the former convention.
What am I missing? Does their way make more sense, grammatically or stylistically? Or is this just a collective habit that they've all adopted and I should avoid picking it up? [more inside]
posted by cranberrymonger
on Mar 15, 2012 -
How much help is too much help when it comes to a friend's application to an accountancy training programme? [more inside]
posted by muhonnin
on Feb 3, 2012 -
Somewhat silly usage question: If I'm someone's research assistant, how can I succinctly describe their
relationship to me
? [more inside]
posted by dismas
on Dec 3, 2011 -
Can you help me explain how and when to use articles (a/an/the) to a non-native English speaker? [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot
on Nov 7, 2011 -
How would one address atrocious grammar errors, poor sentence construction and spelling mistakes in the monthly email updates from administrators of your child's school? [more inside]
posted by webhund
on Oct 26, 2011 -
Poking the grammatical hornets' nest. As seen on CNN.com as a headline: "1 in 10 kids isn't (something not relevant)." I think it's ungrammatical, my co-workers think it's correct. [more inside]
posted by sbutler
on Oct 3, 2011 -
What are the rules, or guidelines around the use of the (tm), (r) and (c) signs? They seem to be ubiquitous in corporate English, but as far as I can tell they're both unnecessary and ugly. Is putting a (tm) on a trademark something that's considered a required prerequisite to protecting it?
posted by Sebmojo
on Sep 7, 2011 -
Grammarfilter: In the Pittsburghese construct needs + past participle (e.g., the car needs washed), what is the name of the "to be" that is dropped? [more inside]
posted by bfranklin
on Jan 26, 2011 -
Is there any graduate program that emphasizes writing skills (in English) while providing a rigorous education in grammar, literature, and related languages (i.e. Latin), without focusing on literary criticism, but rather on writing itself? More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by Nebula
on Jan 8, 2011 -
Are there official grammatical rules about the capitalization of the words "god", "lord" etc. when referring specifically to Christianity (or any specific faith)? [more inside]
posted by Carlotta Bananas
on Dec 5, 2010 -
What's the proper way to order dates in geologic time when writing and why? In this example, The Iapetus Ocean existed between 600 and 400 million years ago
, would it be equally correct to write 400 to 600 million years ago
? Can you also direct me to a source for the rules?
posted by Kronur
on Dec 2, 2010 -
Is the plural of a variety of bread, "breads" or does it remain bread?
"I scale, mix and bake various breads from scratch for a busy café and catering orders."
posted by wocka wocka wocka
on Jul 19, 2010 -
Punctuation filter: Comma, colon, semicolon, dash? Is what I'm saying even grammatically correct? [more inside]
posted by a.steele
on Jun 10, 2010 -
Please help resolve an office grammar debate regarding hyphenated adjectives! (Sounds fun, right?) [more inside]
posted by Flamingo
on Jun 4, 2010 -
In his book "Fathers and Sons", Alexander Waugh quotes an essay written by his grandfather Evelyn Waugh that includes this sentence:"He would have liked to do the same with me, but my school was less conveniently placed for visiting (sic) and the hard times of the First World War made hospitality difficult." Why the (sic)? What was Evelyn Waugh's error here?
posted by davidjmcgee
on May 2, 2010 -
What's going on grammatically in the opening verse of the Quran, which uses a sound masculine plural for the word "worlds"? [more inside]
posted by Biru
on Apr 9, 2010 -
Is the phrase "needs replaced" an English language regionalism? Is it an American English regional phrase? Is it of relatively recent vintage? Why does it seem to be gaining prevalence? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise
on Mar 15, 2010 -