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John Lemke

A Useful Reminder About 'An' - 0 views

  • In modern usage, the form a is used in front of words that begin with a consonant sound; an is used in front of words that begin with a vowel sound.
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    I have seen the examples of misuse more often than I would care to admit.  Just this morning I was debating whether it should be "a Ottawa teen" or "an Ottawa teen" because my spelling and grammar checker told me right was wrong.  This article focuses on the confusion caused by "u".
John Lemke

Which and That to Introduce Clauses - 0 views

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    This topic seems to confuse many.  It is a crowd which I am a member of.
John Lemke

Gonna, Gotta, Wanna - 0 views

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    Hopefully, you're gonna get this article's point.
John Lemke

Overloading While - 0 views

  • The conjunction while, for example, tends to pop up in contexts in which a different conjunction may be the better choice.
  • temporal conjunction
  • to introduce clauses that express opposition
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  • to introduce a clause that provides a contrast
  • If contrast is intended, the conjunction whereas would make the meaning clearer.
  • “adversative” conjunctions
  • temporal conjunctions
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    Do you over use "while"?  If you better understand the many uses of the word, it is easier to find a substitute.
John Lemke

Cynics and Cynosures - 0 views

  • cynic comes from a Greek word meaning “dog-like, currish, churlish.”
  • The word cynosure comes from a Greek word meaning “dog’s tail.” This was the name given by the Greeks to the northern constellation Ursa Minor, the “Small Bear” in whose tail is the Pole-star, also known as the North Star. Because the North Star is bright and a means of finding the direction of north, the word cynosure acquired the figurative meaning of “something that is bright and serves as a guide.”
  • In modern usage, a cynic is a person disposed to find fault with everything and to rant about it to everyone. A cynic trusts no one’s sincerity or good intentions. The adjective is cynical; the noun is cynicism.
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  • Unlike cynic, the word cynosure has positive connotations. A cynosure is someone or something that serves for guidance or direction, a “guiding star.
John Lemke

Gerunds - 0 views

  • A gerund is an -ing verb form used as a noun.
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    No it is not some type of flower but a noun that ends in "ing". 
John Lemke

Work out vs. Workout - 0 views

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    I agree with the person who pointed it out. There is a difference between the noun and verb but it is too often ignored.
John Lemke

6 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes You Simply Don't Want to Make - 0 views

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    Point one, I make em', you make em', we all make em' and everyone makes these mistakes.
John Lemke

Hyphenating Prefixes - 0 views

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    Personally, I err on the side of using the hyphen. However, there seems to be much disagreement on the topic of when to hyphenate.
John Lemke

The Best Shots Fired in the Oxford Comma Wars | Mental Floss - 0 views

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    There has been a long debate about what some call the Oxford comma. Personally, I use it. I use it for clarity, out of habit, because I feel it "looks" right, and likely because I lean OCD. Do you use it?
John Lemke

Complacent vs. Complaisant - 0 views

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    "Both complacent and complaisant descend from Latin complacere, "to please, to be pleasant," but they have acquired different meanings in English."
John Lemke

Arrive To vs. Arrive At - 0 views

  • To is a preposition of movement. One travels to a restaurant, but arrives at a restaurant.
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    I agree with the author, this misuse of the preposition seems to be gaining ground.
John Lemke

Compound Plurals - 0 views

  • In regard to American usage, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends that writers consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for “tricky” compounds like fathers-in-law, courts-marital, and chefs d’oeuvre, adding, “For those not listed, common sense can usually provide the answer.”
  • Compound nouns are of three kinds: open, closed, and hyphenated.
  • Some speakers have trouble with nouns that end in -ful, puzzling, for example, between cupfuls and cupsful. This is a case in which common sense should probably advise against consulting M-W.

    Although the M-W entries for cupful, handful, and armful list the plurals cupfuls, handfuls, and armfuls first, they give cupsful, handsful, and armsful as alternative spellings. In addition, the spelling handfull is in there as an “also.” My American spellchecker does not countenance any of these alternatives.

    Cupsful doesn’t cut it because compound nouns are made up of two or more words that can be used on their own. For example, the words in the compound policeman can be used separately: “The man called for the police.” The element ful in cupful is not a word; it’s a suffix.

    Common sense tells me that cupsful is incorrect.

John Lemke

The Many Meanings of Make - 0 views

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    I never really thought about just how many ways we use the verb "make".
John Lemke

Predicate Complements - 0 views

  • The predicate nominative and predicate adjective complete the meaning of a state-of-being or linking verb. The most common linking verb is to be, with its forms am, is, are, was, were, being, been. Other verbs, like seem and appear, also function in this way.
  • The predicate nominative (abbreviated PN) completes the verb and renames the subject of the verb. The predicate adjective (abbreviated PA) completes the verb and describes the subject.
John Lemke

Is U.S. a Noun? - 0 views

  • The Chicago Manual of Style prescribes spelling out United States as a noun in running text and reserving US for the adjective form only. CMOS also prefers US without periods, to match the US postal codes like AR, MI, and WY.
  • The AP Stylebook recognizes U. S. as a noun as well as an adjective. It calls for periods when the U.S. appears in a running text, but US without periods in a headline.
  • When it comes to formal speaking and written text, however, reserve the abbreviation for adjectival use and write out United States as the noun.
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    I never really thought about it before but it seems that using "US" or "U.S."  as a noun is somewhat debated.
John Lemke

Direct and Indirect Objects - 0 views

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    This article uses some great examples to explain direct and indirect objects.
John Lemke

Is Software a Mass Noun? - 0 views

  • Abstract nouns such as courage, cowardice, intelligence, and happiness are mass nouns because they cannot be combined with an indefinite article. For example, one can’t speak of “a courage” or “a cowardice.” Mass nouns cannot be preceded by a numeral without specifying a unit of measurement: “a ton of coffee,” “a modicum of intelligence.”
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    A decent read on some types of nouns.
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