How did skipping a grade work out for you or your child, and what were the factors that made the biggest difference? [more inside]
posted by Betsy Vane
on Feb 25, 2010 -
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 -
"One hundred and one" vs. "one hundred one." Which is correct?
posted by nestor_makhno
on Feb 11, 2010 -
"Sunday 7 February 2010." Is a comma required between "Sunday" and "7"?
posted by Busoni
on Feb 7, 2010 -
GrammarFilter: Is the phrase "I will trade you.." often misused, or is it a perfectly valid usage that drives me crazy? [more inside]
posted by mikeh
on Jan 11, 2010 -
I was thinking the other day about "all Greek to me!" as I was reading a physics book w/equations (using the Greek symbols)
And equations are a sort of language, of course.
So I wondered if there's some sort of linguist who's ever looked at the grammar or syntax of math/physics equations and tried to derive, whatever the hell it is linguists derive!
Does this sound like something anyone has heard of? If so, have any links?
posted by symbioid
on Jan 8, 2010 -
Can I use "Me either" in place of "Me too" in response to this statement..."I can't wait to see you!"? Please explain.
posted by likeapen
on Jan 8, 2010 -
Quick grammar/usage question. Which is the preferred usage: "I'm buying this property on their behalf
," or "I'm buying this property on their behalves
." [more inside]
posted by crLLC
on Dec 8, 2009 -
Yet Another English Grammar Question: Which is correct? Based on my facial expression right now, you would think I [were/was] excited
. The former sounds wrong, but reading about subjunctive moods makes me think it's right. Does it matter whether I intend to imply that I was not in fact excited?
posted by phrontist
on Nov 23, 2009 -
Anyone know the name of that handy little red grammar book? It's digest sized and I think it was published by Harcourt and Brace.
posted by zzazazz
on Nov 11, 2009 -
GrammarFilter: A friend and I have been discussing this construction: "would have had to go" vs. "would have had to have gone." It seems they are both correct and are almost always interchangeable, so it would seem the former, simpler version is preferable. Thoughts, explanations, examples otherwise? Are they both correct? [more inside]
posted by Badasscommy
on Oct 26, 2009 -
Editors, I need your help with quotation marks! Which is correct?
a) I sent him an article about "The X Factor".
b) I sent him an article about "The X Factor." [more inside]
posted by HeyAllie
on Oct 26, 2009 -
How is "I should mind" used to mean "I don't really mind"? This and other grammar/language questions inside. [more inside]
posted by rossination
on Oct 23, 2009 -
Tell me everything you know about this sentence construction:
"Are you finished your lunch?" [more inside]
posted by peep
on Oct 22, 2009 -
Grammarians: Is it OK to take liberties with the word "win" when publicizing a contest or draw? [more inside]
posted by wackybrit
on Oct 5, 2009 -
Please hope me with this seemingly-basic English grammar/spelling question! Which is correct: "long-sleeve t-shirt" or "long-sleeved t-shirt"? Is there supposed to be a hyphen between "long" and "sleeve(d)? [more inside]
posted by radioamy
on Oct 2, 2009 -
If I am on the phone with an unknown person, I usually say "whom an I speaking with?" to get the callers name. It doesn't seem to roll of the tongue very nicely though. What is the best way to get a callers name in today's world?
posted by kapu
on Aug 23, 2009 -
So which sentence is proper English grammar:
"If you eat like Bob and me, you will be healthy."
"If you eat like Bob and I, you will be healthy."
posted by 256
on Aug 14, 2009 -
Grammarfilter! Oh my. Is it "X and Y are two side of the same coin" or "X and Y two sides of the same coin"? This was an SAT sample question, and I, a poor girl's tutor, swore that "sides" must be plural in this context. Then the sample test website told me I was wrong, that it's "two side". [more inside]
posted by saysthis
on Aug 13, 2009 -
In There Will Be Blood
, Daniel Plainview delivers the line: "I have a competition in me." Could this be described as grammatically correct, strictly speaking? Or is it idiomatic, but not strictly correct? Is Plainview saying, essentially, "I have a [sense of] competition in me," a sentence that, were it to be spelled out as such, would lose its rhetorical punch? Could it be argued as a case of poetic metonymy or something of the kind? [more inside]
posted by Busoni
on Aug 8, 2009 -
I understand the normal rules for "I" and "Me" in sentences, but I simply cannot figure out the answer to this example.
What I want to say is that my dad and I are regional truckers (or me and my dad are regional truckers). If I stay true to the "I" vs."Me" formula I learned in school and eliminate the objective pronoun, the simplified version of the sentence can be written as either "I are regional truckers" or "me are regional truckers", and both of these look atrocious written down. I'm not a seasoned grammarian, but even I know that neither one of these seems to be the correct answer. Am I missing something?
posted by Buddy-Rey
on Jul 31, 2009 -
I want to ask several questions in a row in a research proposal. What is the grammatically correct way of doing this? [more inside]
posted by hiteleven
on Jul 23, 2009 -
LanguageFilter: How can a native English speaker develop a better sense of grammatical cases? [more inside]
posted by mary8nne
on Jul 22, 2009 -
In Return of the King
, Aragorn says: "I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me." What precisely does he mean by this? My confusion is with the phrase "take the heart of me." Is this a standard idiom?
posted by Busoni
on Jul 15, 2009 -
Genuinely dumb question to waste on the brain trust here but: when nouns end in x, do you indicate possession with just a quotation mark or do you need to include the s? [more inside]
posted by christhelongtimelurker
on Jul 13, 2009 -
WordMacroFilter: So my new boss is great but he has some crazy grammar and wordsmithing quirks. I received a list (no joke) of the edits he wants to see of documents that come to his desk (use affect instead of impact, effect instead of impacts, etc). I'd like to create a Microsoft Word Macro that will automate the task. [more inside]
posted by roundrock
on May 19, 2009 -
Grammarfilter. The question: "Haven't you been to Italy?" The answer: I've been to Italy. Is the correct response yes or no? [more inside]
posted by ohcanireally
on May 11, 2009 -
GrammarFilter: A co-worker regularly uses the phrase "to include" in sentences such as: "Max has achieved the goals, to include such-and-such." I suspect "including" should be used instead of "to include," since "to include" implies future tense but the verb is past tense. Am I right? If so, can anyone find a link that explains this? (Google results tended us use the phrase "to include" in their text, not as their content.)
posted by quinoa
on May 7, 2009 -
Help settle a grammar dispute: Can I say "He was to Africa," the same way I would say "He has been to Africa"?
posted by alona
on May 1, 2009 -
In David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again
he uses the word "which" in a way that I found unusual - a usage that is described under heading three here
. I think I'm fairly well read, but I can't remember ever having seen this before. I've been having (what I think are) migraines lately and I'm curious if I'm becoming linguistically befuddled, or if this is just an obscure or archaic usage. Examples after the jump. [more inside]
posted by phrontist
on Apr 20, 2009 -
John Locke wrote "one may destroy a man who makes war upon him." I understand that in this sentence "one" and "him" are the same person, and "man" and "who" are a separate person. In the most basic sense, this sentence justifies fighting against people who war with you.
But I have read sentences before - often in poetry - where cases are switched. If the above sentence were such an example, then "one" and "who" would be a person, and "man" and "him" would be the other person. In this case, the sentence would suggest that one runs the risk of destroying someone if they make war against that someone.
What are some examples of such sentences?
posted by nushustu
on Apr 6, 2009 -
I'm putting together a writing guide for my undergraduate philosophy course. What information should I put in the guide? [more inside]
posted by philosophygeek
on Apr 1, 2009 -
I'm kicking around a concept for a theoretical piece I hope to work on in the near future, dealing with the way "femininity" and the "female" category are conceived of linguistically. Help me find some empirical data! [more inside]
posted by parkbench
on Mar 24, 2009 -
Good examples of intercultural communications based on ideograms or common concepts? [more inside]
posted by Bio11
on Feb 22, 2009 -
Looking for online grammar exercises, games, etc. that would enable me to do a few exercises here and there throughout the day. [more inside]
posted by variella
on Feb 10, 2009 -