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Help me find some U.S. elementary school study aids from the mid '80s.

Tryin' to track down a portfolio of English reading/writing laminated bifold four page workbooks. [more inside]
posted by coolxcool=rad on Mar 20, 2014 - 6 answers

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

Thanksgiving-related vocabulary word needed! (for adults, not children)

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 - 17 answers

so question such askmefi very internet

What is the name and/or origin of the meme where intensifers/adverbs are placed before nouns? [more inside]
posted by i_am_a_fiesta on Nov 14, 2013 - 8 answers

What's going on with the comma placement ,here?

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 - 13 answers

Wondering what is going on in sentences like this, because grammar.

Lately I've been seeing something crop up a fair bit in casual writing where an entire explanatory clause is humorously collapsed to "because X." You've seen it: "And then I ate four of the muffins, because chocolate." Or writer Tabatha Southey tweeting about newborn Prince George: Okay, now I am happy the baby is here and I want to put its tiny baby foot in my mouth, because baby. What's happening, grammatically? How might a linguist describe it?
posted by wdenton on Aug 28, 2013 - 16 answers

Grammar question du jour

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 - 29 answers

Vegan. Why is it a hard 'gee' when vegetarian is a soft 'gee'?

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 - 3 answers

Parlez-vous francais? No. Not for 13 years.

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 - 12 answers

Possibly the Most Boring AskMeta Ever

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 - 29 answers

Can someone clarify whether or not this is correct grammar?

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 - 23 answers

hyphens vs. en dashes

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 - 17 answers

Have I been acting rude for most of my life?

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 - 50 answers

Apostrophe Usage, Part 748...

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 - 9 answers

Comma Chameleon: Help with comma usage needed!

How do I correctly use commas in this sentence? [more inside]
posted by MegoSteve on Apr 24, 2013 - 12 answers

Grammar Filter: [He is a "black" man] or [He is a black man]

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 - 54 answers

How do you abbreviate the word 'because' when typing or text messaging?

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 - 41 answers

Inaugural vs First Annual?

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 - 58 answers

"Isthmus" or "isthmus"?

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 isthmus." or "The canal crossed the Isthmus."? (My CMS subscription has lapsed and I can't afford a re-up, alas.)
posted by flibbertigibbet on Dec 5, 2012 - 8 answers

Grammatical gender consistency across languages

Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
posted by obloquy on Dec 4, 2012 - 30 answers

What tense does usage of 'Don't' normally infer?

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 - 20 answers

Is there a linguistic term for this?

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 - 12 answers

Prefixes in a series--help!

Grammar question: How to treat hyphenated prefixes when used in a series. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 27, 2012 - 4 answers

Apostrophe Help

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 - 11 answers

It's my problem, not there's...

How do I proofread my own work more thoroughly? [more inside]
posted by pantarei70 on Apr 23, 2012 - 29 answers

Grammar: Is this phrasing a waste of words, or does it make sense?

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 - 26 answers

It's purely textual...

Text? Or, texted? [more inside]
posted by AlliKat75 on Feb 8, 2012 - 34 answers

When does helping become cheating

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 - 9 answers

What is this person's relationship to me?

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 - 13 answers

"The" Ukrainian Needs Help with "a" grammar issue.

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 - 9 answers

Correct use of a gerund?

Grammar question about gerund use in a sentence. Should be an easy one. [more inside]
posted by Cortes on Nov 4, 2011 - 9 answers

Is our children learning?

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 - 25 answers

"1 in 10 kids" is or are?

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 - 53 answers

"to be" or not "to be"

"To be" or not "to be"? That is the question! [more inside]
posted by Jayed on Sep 21, 2011 - 77 answers

Why do people use (tm) and (c) and (r)?

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 - 8 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

Asked by a fellow teacher, hasn't got a clue.

In need of help with grammar, again. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Feb 7, 2011 - 21 answers

This Needs Clarification

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 - 21 answers

Do any graduate programs emphasize writing while teaching English grammar, literature, and Latin?

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 - 17 answers

God? Or god?

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 - 11 answers

Ordering dates when writing about geologic time?

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 - 26 answers

Let us break bread(s?) together

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 - 12 answers

Don't be such a Gloomy Gus

Is there a word for "Debbie Downer", "Nervous Nelson", and similar labels? [more inside]
posted by fleeba on Jul 17, 2010 - 11 answers

Oh, English.

Punctuation filter: Comma, colon, semicolon, dash? Is what I'm saying even grammatically correct? [more inside]
posted by a.steele on Jun 10, 2010 - 24 answers

Help with hyphenated adjectives, plz

Please help resolve an office grammar debate regarding hyphenated adjectives! (Sounds fun, right?) [more inside]
posted by Flamingo on Jun 4, 2010 - 43 answers

Fathers and Suns and Gerunds

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 - 11 answers

Quranic Grammar Headache!

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 - 10 answers

needs replaced v. needs to be replaced

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 - 47 answers

Semi-Colon; moderate pause.

This is an awesome way to learn about grammar and punctuation . Do you have any other recommendations to make this sort of stuff fun?
posted by moocheen on Mar 1, 2010 - 11 answers

English usage: "what would seem to be."

What's the proper use of the phrase "what would seem to be"? [more inside]
posted by exphysicist345 on Feb 18, 2010 - 11 answers

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