Category Archives: grammar and language

Colorado State University walks back its language guide’s advice not to say “America” and “Americans”

A few days ago I reported on Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) “Inclusive Language Guide”, which apparently did not constitute official university policy but was still a rather draconian attempt to force language into a Woke Procrustean bed. As the guide’s introduction said: What this document is: This is a living resource compiled by the Inclusive […]

More words and phrases I hate

It’s that time of year when the heat makes one splenetic, ready to denounce phrases used by the young, woke, or “with-it”.  Here are a few of my most despiséd terms, and of course you’re welcome to add yours. It’s time for the Daily Two Minutes of Hate! 1.) “Back in the day”.  Of course […]

The most repugnant headline ever

It’s from HuffPo, of course, and I count 4.5 repellent words or phrases in the  two headlines below. If you click on the screenshot, you’ll see another stinker in the second-page headline: Apparently this is the way HuffPost thinks its readers talk, and perhaps they do. And of course it’s about a tweet: that’s all […]

More words I hate

It’s time for another installment of “words and phrases that repel me”. Today we have four, and I’ll use as examples my favorite website to hate, HuffPost. (Click on screenshots to see the shameful usage.) 1.) Impactful.  I’m not even going to look this up to see it’s a word; it probably is in the […]

Grammatical annoyances of the week

This one I heard two days ago on NPR; I can’t remember the exact word in quotes, but the announcer’s sentence went something like this: “The evidence, quote, unquote.” If you’re going to use verbal air quotes, please place them properly. In this case it’s, “The quote evidence, unquote.” Is that so hard? And I hate […]

More words I abhor

I’m starting to realize that neologisms in popular culture often spread not because they are more pleasing to the ear or more expressive, but because the speaker sounds “cool”—is that word still used?—when using the latest argot. One I’ve seen all over the place lately, perhaps because of the success of the “Crazy Rich Asians” […]

Sign errors of the day

This sign, photographed by reader Will, has one apostrophe error and a completely obscure description of a tap. Will noted this when he sent it to me: This is a sad sign of our times in several respects, I think. (Photographed today in the rest room of a fish & chip shop in Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk, […]

White House letter redacted by English teacher, mostly improperly

This may seem petty, but Donald Trump’s inability to write, or even communicate clearly, is yet another black mark on the man and his Presidency. (Note: he does have a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.) But, as reported by the New York Times, (click on screenshot below), a […]

New meanings

I’ve a busy day, so posting will be light and laden with persiflage. Here’s some: I was, as usual, reading “Left wing” websites during lunch, and I realized that one frequently sees the word “haters” used to refer to those who are critical of a person or phenomenon—in other words, “critics.”  Many of these critics […]

What does this Indian sign mean?

Traveling in India, you often see signs in fractured or archaic English (they use a lot of old British words like “rusticated”), but you can usually understand what they mean. This sign, however, next to a window in the passenger compartment of a bus (the one that took us from our broken plane to the […]