EpigramFilter: What's the converse of "Don't kill the messenger"? [more inside]
Wordsmiths, Help! -- Do you capitalize the word "left" in the phrase "the political left"? [more inside]
Copy editors or grammar natzi's: I am pre-copy editing a manuscript for my friend. Is it acceptable to start a sentence with the word "but"? I am leaning towards no but I can't remember. Also what are the rules about mentioning name brands in novels? such as "Hilton" or "Boston Red Sox" or "Boston Globe"? Thank you so much!
I need recommendations for the best Spanish review/dictionary. [more inside]
GrammarFilter: I was listening to "Blackbird" by the Beatles recently, and was struck by the line: "You were only waiting for this moment to arise." I was intrigued by the way the phrase "to arise" has sort of an ambiguous function here. [more inside]
Do you correct colleagues when they make grammatical mistakes? What is the proper etiquette? [more inside]
Is there a consensus on the grammatical relationship between emoticons and punctuation? [more inside]
Foreign language "bibles" (superlative, comprehensive language resources) for language-learning lovers? [more inside]
I have a grammar question that has been driving me crazy. It's probably a matter of style but... [more inside]
How do I pluralize a contraction that already ends with an apostrophe? [more inside]
Please hope me! Or why hope for help? [more inside]
Grammar Filter: A mp3 or an mp3? I can't make myself say the former! [more inside]
Proper choice of coordinating conjunction in a list. "And" versus "or." [more inside]
Do fish fish fish fish fish fish fish? [more inside]
Please: I would like a bazillion examples of popular music lyrics and song titles that would make an English teacher cry out in empathetic pain for their abuse of grammar. [more inside]
Are there any languages that do not contain gender-specific pronouns? (no he's or she's, just 'it')
Is there a grammar rule that deals with when to use a "to" following certain phrases like "help"? For instance, "Product Wonderful will help you sleep better" -or- "Product Wonderful will help you to sleep better." To my ear, I prefer it without the "to," but I don't know if there's a grammar issue let alone a style guide preference. [more inside]
What are some other examples of using 'an' in front of a non-vowel like some do with 'an historic...'? [more inside]
I went to school near Pittsburgh and now live in Ohio. Both at school and here in Columbus, I notice people leaving off "to be" in sentences. This needs fixed, that neads cleaned, those need washed. What's the deal here? [more inside]
Why is there a disdain for the future conditional tense among people who talk about sports? [more inside]
"How do we get to Jupiter? And do it cheaply..." [more inside]
A) "At the next stage in the process, the tea leaves ARE blended". B) "At the next stage in the process, the tea leaves WERE blended". Is A correct from a formal grammar standpoint? If so, which tense is it using, and how is it using the past tense of "blend"? If not, why not?
Grammar Question: Is or Isn't? [more inside]
GrammarFilter: Is the sentence “If I were ______, I would have done _____” grammatically incorrect? If so, why? [more inside]
Do I need the comma in this sentence? "In _Grapes of Europe_, Joe Bloggs reports that grapes are purple." And if so/not, why? I've tried googling adverbial introductory clauses and prepositional introductory clauses, but I can't find a similar example where a work is being introduced.
when should I say 'african american' and when 'black' ? [more inside]
I need . . . adjectives! Is there a *scannable* online dictionary or some way in which I can search through giant lists just for the adjectives? [more inside]
A guy becomes a "male president" but if it's a girl she is a "woman president." Can someone explain this grammar? [more inside]
Explain tenses to me? Past/present/future, continuous/simple/perfect, and so on, in English. I can use them with fluency, but I need to be able to explain them (when each is used, how to form them). I've tried Fowler's, Chicago Manual of Style, and a number of other resources, but they seem to subtly contradict one another. Is there a simple, go-to reference for this?
I have a friend named James, I'd like to know how to spell James's name. [more inside]
In a sentence which begins, "I expect that the answer lay/lays/lie/lies not in the answers provided, but . . . ," which is the correct verb choice? [more inside]
Is there a term for mangling two words to create a new word or term? [more inside]
What is the plural of "no"? Example: You have to hear a hundred "nos" for every yes. What is the proper way to write "nos"?
What are some essential differences between UK and American English Grammar? [more inside]
"Most all" - it is wrong. Right? [more inside]
Best book for "learning" English grammar? [more inside]
َ[ArabicFilter] لكن vs لكنَّ: I still don't get the difference. [more inside]
English grammar question: Which is grammatically correct, "If I were not myself" or "If I were not me"? Or is it "If I were not I"? [more inside]
I'm looking for a mac word processor with French language support (spelling and grammar) to replace Microsoft Word 2004. [more inside]
How do you show possession in the case of an optional pluralisation? For example, if the word is player(s), would you write player(s)'s? Player(s)'? Player('s|s')? [more inside]
Help me find evidence contrary to this analysis that claims the internet causes language to be "dumbed down". As Hemingway said: "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
"From *date* until *date" or "From *date* to *date*"? Grammarians hope me! [more inside]
nixon's last mistake? [more inside]
English grammar: 'could be Xing' versus 'can be Xing' -- how can we explain why one is correct and one isn't? [more inside]
is there a grammar checker out there that will check my documents for consistent tense? I have a teacher who's a real stickler, and even if I go over my paper with a fine toothed comb, I always miss one or two. Does anybody have a program I could use to save myself some points in class?
I'm writing a book. What's the difference between a prologue, a foreword, an introduction, and a preface?
I am writing a children's book (first time). I can't decide whether to use present or past tense. Here's a sample in present tense: Bobby walks slowly into the water. The waves rush up over his feet, but he is not afraid because the same thing happened last time. He goes a little farther. And a little farther. The water is up to his knees. and past tense: Bobby walked slowly into the water. The waves rushed up over his feet, but he was not afraid because the same thing happened last time. He went a little farther. And a little farther. The water was up to his knees. The present tense seems a little more "active", but past tense has certain story telling quality. Any comments on why I should use one or the other?
Hawaiian has only eight consonants. Pirahã purportedly has even fewer phonemes and no numerals. What other languages have properties which would be considered unusual by Indo-European language speakers?
Very straightforward: would a testy copyeditor say "take out our grammar frustrations" or "take out our grammatical frustrations" and why?
Correct use: "consists of" vs "consists in" [more inside]