[sticky entry] Sticky: Queries

Tuesday, 16 October 2007 11:36
theemdash: (Editing)
[personal profile] theemdash
Comment here with any questions you have about writing, grammar, and language. Please also let us know if we have permission to use your name when one of our Fandom Grammarians answers your question in one of our weekly posts.

Comments are screened.


You can also submit your questions by emailing fandomgrammar@gmail.com

Answer: Moot

Monday, 22 May 2017 16:31
randi2204: McCoy with all the things he says he's not in TOS (star trek - mccoy is not your)
[personal profile] randi2204
We were asked, What is the origin and correct usage of “moot?” Moot has a variety of meanings, so correct usage can be a bit tricky.  Let’s dig right in with some help from the characters of Star Trek.

Who gives a hoot about moot? )
whymzycal: A ladybug on a leaf (ladybug)
[personal profile] whymzycal
In February 2015, io9 writer Lauren Davis tackled a list of “10 Things People Once Complained Would Ruin the English Language,” a fun article that explains 10 things that grammarians and other language lovers used to freak out about. Unsurprisingly, it’s easy to see parallels between past concerns and the language worries of today. Spoiler alert: English hasn’t been ruined yet, and it probably won’t be. )
ariestess: (harbor seal -- from meathiel)
[personal profile] ariestess
For this week's Say What? adventure, we're going to look at a couple of seemingly biblically-inspired sayings, with the help of our friends over at with the help of our friends over at Once Upon a Time )
ariestess: (TFO beauty -- from theonlyspl)
[personal profile] ariestess
Today we're going to look at this anonymously asked question, "Do appositives always need punctuation?" with the help of our friends from Ghostbusters.

Do appositives always need punctuation? )
green_grrl: (SG1_JDWhat)
[personal profile] green_grrl
English is full of phrases that get sprinkled through conversation. We pick them up, use them, and don't think too hard about them until we have to write them down. Then we realize we're not quite sure what the exact phrase is. [personal profile] lauramcewan asked us about one of these: "Is it 'one and the same' or 'one in the same'?" When spoken, the phrase tends to sound like "one 'n' the same," so it is understandably confusing.

Unlike some other usage questions, there is only one right answer here. I'll illustrate with the Avengers. )
whymzycal: sequin stars (stars)
[personal profile] whymzycal
Hello, fellow grammar fans! Today we’re going to explore the question posed by [personal profile] wanted_a_pony: “When do you use ‘you and I’ versus ‘you and me’? Are there differences in American and British English?”

Let’s find out the answer with a little help from the characters of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. )
randi2204: Seven together riding off into the sunrise (GotC) (mag7 - silhouette seven purple and gold)
[personal profile] randi2204
It’s that time again – Say What? is back!  Today we’ll be taking a look at a couple of sayings that give some insight into both hope and reality.  Let’s get right into better to light a candle than to curse the darkness and man’s reach exceeds his grasp, and we’ll be enlisting the characters from the Magnificent Seven movie to help.

Reach for the candle but don’t grasp the flame. )
randi2204: (sven)
[personal profile] randi2204
For today’s edition of [community profile] fandom_grammar, we have a pair of words that are quite commonly confused, particularly in scenes where you definitely wouldn’t want them to be confused.  Let’s tackle shutter and shudder, with some help from the characters of Voltron.

I shudder to think of closing the shutters. )
green_grrl: (SPN_JAhee)
[personal profile] green_grrl
I, N, and G say that E and D have been known to take action in the past

A Tense Situation by John Atkinson

I can't resist a little verb-al humor. (Personally, I think E and D should be a little more worried about I, N, and G, as they like to be in the middle of the action, right now!)

See Fandom Grammar's parts of speech: verbs: tense tag to learn more about these rascals.
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

Today's set of easily confused words is as mellifluous as it is puzzling. We'll try to clarify the situation with the help of the Knight of Lost Words, October ("Toby") Daye, and her friends.

All right, let's go! )
ariestess: (autumn leaves -- from dhamphir)
[personal profile] ariestess
Welcome to another round of Commonly Confused Words. I'm your host, AJ, and today we'll be unraveling the differences between weary, wary, and worry, with the help of our friends from Once Upon a Time and Damien, as well as Dictionary.com.

weary vs. wary vs. worry )
ariestess: (tyrol cylon -- from beeej)
[personal profile] ariestess

Source


Grant Snider over at Incidental Comics offers up a slew of new proofreader's marks for consideration. I happen to be down with all of them, especially the cyclopsis, horribly wrong font, and word tornado options.

What are your favorites, either from this list or from the established marks we already have? Do you have any new ones you'd nominate?

And for those of you interested in this topic, feel free to check our past forays into proofreader's marks in this Feature, this Friday Funnies, and this Friday Funnies.
whymzycal: Demon-shaped steam rising from tea (tea demon)
[personal profile] whymzycal
Happy Monday, grammar friends, and welcome to our next look at a pair of Commonly Confused Words!

Today we’re going to look at decent and descent, two words that are often mistaken for one another because their spellings are so similar. With examples from the Avengers and Star Trek. )
melayneseahawk: (meaning of life)
[personal profile] melayneseahawk
Hello, and welcome to another article on Commonly Confused Words! Today’s topic is a pair of words that I confuse all the time, so I thought I’d settle it once and for all: what is the difference between “appraise” and “apprise”, and what are some ways to remember which is which?

First, let’s start with some definitions...

appraise/apprise, with examples from Steven Universe and Star Trek (2009) )

Tune in next week for another set of Commonly Confused Words!

(The Star Trek example is shamelessly borrowed from Deastar’s marvelous So Wise We Grow.)
whymzycal: Text saying proper use of their, there, and they're makes me hot (their there etc)
[personal profile] whymzycal

Hover text: later still: wait, HOW DID UTAHRAPTOR KNOW?


Malapropisms (replacing one word with an incorrect, similar-sounding word, usually in a way that ends up being funny) and mondegreens (sort of like malapropisms, except you mis-hear a word instead of saying the wrong word) are something many of the grammarians see and hear at their jobs. That said, thanks to Ryan North at Dinosaur Comics,I doubt anyone can do them as well as T-Rex.

So, do you have any favorite malapropisms or mondegreens? Mine is “from the gecko” (instead of “from the get-go”). I keep imagining the Geico insurance company’s spokeslizard—or maybe even a tiny, tiny T-Rex. Adorable!
green_grrl: (SG1_JDWhat)
[personal profile] green_grrl
Two characters have sexily stripped off their tops. One is gently laying a line of kisses down the other from neck to … er … is it naval or navel? Using the wrong one is going to generate some confusing mental images.

Let’s look at these two words with some help from the Avengers. )
mab_browne: (Hannibal)
[personal profile] mab_browne
Welcome to this Fandom Grammar post on commonly confused words. We have a list of four for you today: alley; ally; allay; and alloy. Our fannish examples will come from NBC Hannibal. May I allay any potential concerns with a promise of no scary or gory references?
Allies and alleys – not the same thing )
chiroho: (android logo blue)
[personal profile] chiroho


While many of us were taught in school, at least those of us of a certain age, that a sentence should never be ended with a preposition, that's probably a philosophy that has carried over from Latin grammar and isn't really suited for modern English usage. There are certainly times when you shouldn't use a preposition at the end of a sentence, for example when the preposition is extraneous, but Oxford Dictionaries has a nice little blog that includes a primer on prepositions and how they can be used that should help you avoid mistakes.

Of course, in the specific example used in the cartoon above, I think I'd be convicting the defendant as well. :-)
randi2204: (avengers - A is for)
[personal profile] randi2204
Hello, and welcome back to [community profile] fandom_grammar!  We’re in our new digs on Dreamwidth—mind the fresh paint!—and ready to answer your grammar questions.  Today we’ll ease back in to a regular posting schedule, starting off with a couple of commonly confused words that have similar spellings but very different meanings.  Let’s take a look at alter and altar, with some help from the Avengers.

How can we alter that altar? )
[identity profile] melayneseahawk.livejournal.com
We hope everyone is having a good start to their new year! Fandom Grammar will be turning TEN this fall, so keep an eye out for some fresh ideas coming later this year!
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