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English? Is that a strange language?

Which aspect of English do you find it difficult? [more inside]
posted by sanskrtam on Jul 11, 2011 - 30 answers

How do you force yourself to slow down and take your time when proofing?

How do you force yourself to slow down and take your time when proofing? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 - 43 answers

Taxonomy or list of English grammatical constructs?

Taxonomy (or just a list) of English grammatical constructs suitable for use as a checklist for a second language learner? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Apr 26, 2011 - 11 answers

English Panic

I'm a native speaker of English and I feel like my poor English grammar is degrading me. [more inside]
posted by sanskrtam on Apr 3, 2011 - 25 answers

Language mistakes compared

Are grammatical errors more frequent in English than in other languages? What about spelling? Do foreign language have as many substitution errors as English? Do ewe speak a pear of foreign languages or more and what are you're experiences of these kinds of errors? Watt do there grammar Nazis do? [more inside]
posted by sien on Mar 28, 2011 - 24 answers

Help me tell me friend she's a terrible writer

I am currently a student in a graduate program. A very close friend, who is in the same program, has begun sending me essays for school and correspondence related to her job search to proofread. In doing so, I have noticed a pattern: her writing is full of truly awful, egregious run-on sentences. Nearly every sentence is a run-on. My friend is very smart and accomplished, and I'm not quite sure how she's come this far without this issue being brought to her attention. She has been experiencing disappointment in her grades and career search, and I suspect that this problem may be contributing to the situation. (We are in a highly competitive and nitpicky field.) I think that as a friend, I have a responsibility to bring this to her attention, but I have no idea how in the world to do so in a way that's sensitive and doesn't make her feel bad or damage the friendship. Do I need to tell my friend? If yes, how do I bring it up?
posted by anonymous on Mar 21, 2011 - 28 answers

Help Me Relocate Essay on Overly Formal Language

In Comp I we read an essay about the use of overly formal language... [more inside]
posted by alice_curiouse on Mar 1, 2011 - 4 answers

Comma usage in a subject/verb/object sentence.

Why is the sentence "Let's read, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen." incorrectly punctuated? [more inside]
posted by rinosaur on Feb 9, 2011 - 35 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

comparing sentence structures to death

good web resources that compares english sentence structures to death? [more inside]
posted by figTree on Feb 2, 2011 - 1 answer

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

Can you recommend good books on grammar and writing?

Can you recommend good books on grammar and writing? [more inside]
posted by GlassHeart on Jan 15, 2011 - 22 answers

Me no speak italiano

What are the best Italian reference resources to have on hand? [more inside]
posted by oinopaponton on Jan 11, 2011 - 3 answers

No, commas are not added like salt and pepper (to taste)

I'm teaching a humanities course at an open-admission college. The students are extremely poor writers, and have almost zero knowledge of English grammar. This semester, I want to help them avoid comma splices, since that's one of the top three issues I see in their papers (spelling errors and sentence fragments being the other two). Can you help me design a lesson/activity to help them? [more inside]
posted by philosophygeek on Jan 11, 2011 - 16 answers

What are objective pronouns used with - direct or indirect objects?

When a sentence uses more than one object, how are objective pronouns used with them? Common sense would say that they are only relevant to the direct object, but what if I want to refer to the indirect object? Hardcore grammar-mining ahead! [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto on Jan 8, 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

Do all nouns have a plural form?

English language filter: Do all nouns have a plural form? If not what is an example of a noun with no plural form?
posted by West of House on Dec 16, 2010 - 46 answers

What is the plural of "Batman"?

What is the plural of "Batman"? [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 9, 2010 - 60 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

Center or Centre?

UK spelling question: I'm applying for a job. Which format should I use on my CV and cover letter? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 30, 2010 - 15 answers

Who and whom

Anyone have a simple way to teach the correct usage of 'who' and 'whom'? [more inside]
posted by Blackwatch on Nov 22, 2010 - 32 answers

Is woulda killing HAD?

Is the double "would've" going to beat out the "had +" construction in the English language? [more inside]
posted by fantasticninety on Nov 20, 2010 - 22 answers

Online "handbook" for Japanese-Korean grammar?

I'm looking for resources that document the matching Korean grammar rules for Japanese grammar patterns and vice versa. For example: ~ている = ~고 있다; は=은・는, が=이・가 (for the most part, right?) [more inside]
posted by qvinx on Nov 19, 2010 - 6 answers

How Many Homophones?

Which language has the most homophonic words (one sound, multiple spellings. In English, e.g., BEAR and BARE)? It's hard to do precise comparisons across languages because they differ in what counts as a word, in how complicated their inflectional system is, etc. But even approximate data would be useful. I saw one paper on automatic speech recognition which showed that the system made more errors on French than Italian German etc. and that most of them were due to homophones. But, where are some real facts about degree of homophony across languages?
posted by cogneuro on Nov 9, 2010 - 22 answers

This question, which ask are...

Asking a grammar question for a co-teacher, based on a Japanese textbook. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Oct 31, 2010 - 27 answers

Help me remember...german publisher for language grammars?

Is anyone familiar with a German publisher of high-quality, thorough, foreign language grammars? I recall seeing a pretty comprehensive series for South Asian languages....but never made a note of the publisher.
posted by anelsewhere on Oct 28, 2010 - 7 answers

American grammar textbooks

Are there grammar textbooks at the middle school and high school (or even elementary school) levels that incorporate any of the developments in understanding of English grammar that have been made in the past several decades? [more inside]
posted by strangeguitars on Oct 18, 2010 - 5 answers

Poem illuminating count and non-count/mass nouns

Is there a short, lovely, simple poem I can give to ESL students that contains significant examples of English 'count' nouns (basic stuff you can count) and 'non-count' or 'mass' (concepts, feelings, liquids) nouns? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Oct 17, 2010 - 12 answers

suicidal grammar

My newspaper recently reported that X "has died of an apparent suicide." This strikes me as grammatically fuzzy. "X has apparently committed suicide.", I know is correct. How else could this be correctly rephrased, or is the original perfectly fine?
posted by eaglehound on Oct 15, 2010 - 25 answers

Who proofs the proofreaders?

I'm a professional copy editor who has been blessed with an intern with good instincts and grammatical understanding, but needs to learn the techniques of the craft. Right now I'm just reviewing her work and discussing her mistakes/omissions as they arise, but I'd like to do more formalized instruction. Can anyone recommend a lesson plan? [more inside]
posted by thinkingwoman on Oct 6, 2010 - 16 answers

I'm good

Where does the colloquial English phrase "I'm good" come from, and has it suddenly exploded in popularity? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Sep 28, 2010 - 32 answers

Grammar help: Constructing a question.

Grammar help: Constructing a question. [more inside]
posted by Liquidwolf on Sep 16, 2010 - 15 answers

Should I put a question mark here, because I think it's awkward?

Grammar question about putting question marks at the end of sentences. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on Sep 14, 2010 - 15 answers

Difference between National Adjectives ending in AN and those ending in ESE?

At my job we often need to ask the nationality of people we’re speaking to on the telephone. Help me solve a small disagreement around the grammar/ semantics of exactly how this is done. [more inside]
posted by cilantro on Aug 25, 2010 - 27 answers

Me doesn't spel or write two good.

Is there such a thing as an "advanced" spelling and grammar program for Microsoft Word or WordPerfect? Bonus points if it is designed for the legal world. [more inside]
posted by 2legit2quit on Jul 25, 2010 - 14 answers

It's i before e, except in that word, oh, and that one too. Nevermind.

Grammar checker? [more inside]
posted by fifilaru on Jul 22, 2010 - 7 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

"Best" and "worst" experiences involving grammar?

"Best" and "worst" experiences involving grammar and learning grammar? I think we were asked to write this to increase empathy, but I can't think of anything with any emotional weight, so I thought I'd ask for your experiences. Please answer especially if you had a difficult time with grammar. [more inside]
posted by amtho on Jun 8, 2010 - 31 answers

Can you reccommend a good, in-depth primer on grammar?

Can you reccommend a good, in-depth primer on grammar? I don't mean where to use a comma, but rather a clear definition of, for example, nominative, accusative, dative and genitive cases. What exactly are tense, mood, person, number, and voice. That kind of thing. [more inside]
posted by Nothing on Jun 6, 2010 - 16 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

Up the street without a paddle, or is it 'down' the street?

Grammar filter: When do you say "up the street" versus "down the street"? [more inside]
posted by thisisnotbruce on May 28, 2010 - 36 answers

Random Late-Night Grammar Question

I know this is a silly question, but I've never been able to figure this out. If my sister and I have a favorite song, how would I describe that fact in a sentence? "That's my sister and I's favorite song", "that's my and my sister's favorite song", "that's my sister's and my favorite song?", or some other permutation I may not be seeing? [more inside]
posted by Buddy-Rey on May 28, 2010 - 31 answers

Spruce up my grammar (no tree diagrams, please)

Looking for a handy reference book on English grammar. What would you recommend and why? [more inside]
posted by moody cow on May 11, 2010 - 24 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

"Myself" vs "me"

Grammar filter: Is it wrong to use "myself" when "me" seems to sound better? [more inside]
posted by stenoboy on Apr 21, 2010 - 33 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

Should "della" be capitalized in the middle of an Italian business name?

Italian speakers/readers/writers: my client is naming his new business "Studio Della Statua" or "Studio della Statua". I know that in English, the second capitalization scheme would be fine, but... [more inside]
posted by amtho on Apr 6, 2010 - 9 answers

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