Category Archives: grammar

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 […]

More words I hate

It’s time for another edition of Words I hate, with the implicit invitation of readers to share words (or phrases) that they find repugnant. I have but two today: 1.) Relatable. Yes, this is in some dictionaries, but it really grates on me for reasons I can’t understand. Perhaps it’s because HuffPo, my bête noire, […]

Words and phrases I abhor

It’s once again time to list words and phrases I’ve heard that grate on my ears. As always, readers are welcome to vent as well. Remember, this is a lighthearted rant, so let’s not have any tut-tutters here. Many of these come from HuffPo, which seems to think that if it uses the “with-it” argot […]

The Oxford comma wins in court

The Oxford comma is a comma before the final item in a list. For example, it’s the one after “toast” in this sentence:  “We had eggs, toast, and oatmeal for breakfast.” If you left out the Oxford comma, it would read “We had eggs, toast and oatmeal for breakfast.” It’s also called the “serial comma,” and […]

A grammar question

So I was reading a book this evening that mentioned a Canadian hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yes, I know that team, and always thought the name sounded curious, but then I thought, “Why isn’t it Maple Leaves?” After all, the plural of “leaf” is “leaves”. Now you might say that the word “Leafs” […]

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 […]

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 […]

One space or two after a sentence?

I have arrived in Paris, the weather is gorgeous, and I look forward to reacquainting myself with what I consider the world’s most beautiful city. If I had a gazillion dollars, I’d buy myself a pied-à-terre in the Sixth Arrondissement, near where I lived for six months in 1989-1990, but overlooking the Seine and the Louvre. […]