LABELS: an historic, COPY EDITING, GRAMMAR, grammar peeves, pronunciation of often, split infinitive
I try to avoid forming opinions on matters that aren't subject to opinion. The key word is "try." Just because I know a usage is acceptable doesn't mean I like it. I have my own unfounded, not-backed-up-by-reality peeves and prejudices. I usually keep mum about them. No point raving about the wrongness of something that's right. Still, some usages irk my inner pedant even though they're correct.
LABELS: COPY EDITING, GRAMMAR, WORD USAGE
You probably already know that affect is a verb and effect is a noun. But did you know that sometimes the opposite is true? And did you know that "to effect positive change" uses the E spelling? If not, here's the scoop.
LABELS: COPY EDITING, obscenity, profanity
Last year, a group of linguists, editors and other language buffs started handing out awards for the best obscenity of the year over at the blog Strong Language. As a longtime fan of the C-word, especially when used by a man from the UK to describe another man, I find the whole thing pretty damn amusing.
If you don't, steer clear. If you do, here it is and enjoy.
LABELS: GRAMMAR, WORD USAGE
In recent weeks, three people have asked me about the term "no problem."
I had learned only recently — in the last two years or so — that some people consider "no problem" to be a problem. It seems that a growing number of people consider it a sub-par response to "thank you."
I answered them in a recent column.