mab_browne: Alpine scene and flowers from a painting by Rebecca Osbourne (Default)
[personal profile] mab_browne
When I was a very young grammarian, my mother would proclaim her readiness to read the riot act if her children got too rowdy, or too lazy, and I remember my baby-nerd delight when I found out that the Riot Act was once a genuine regulation. Ella Morton's 2014 article in Slate gives an overview that's the subject of our Fandom Grammar editorial today.
Reading about the Riot Act )
mab_browne: Text icon - 'Mostly Harmless' on dark green background (Mostly Harmless)
[personal profile] mab_browne
In today’s Say What, we’re looking at two sayings very different in association and history: as you sow, so you shall reap and marry in haste, repent at leisure. Separated by time and their sources they might be but they share a unitary thread – that of consequences. The Guardians of the Galaxy will supply our fannish examples.
On with the post )
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 )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today's question is about whether or not the word series is singular or plural. Because the English language can be a touch on the unexpected side, the answer to that is that it's both.
Read more under the cut )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today’s Say What looks at two sayings with a musical bent, with a little help from characters from The Sentinel.

More under the cut )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Our question today asks which option in this sentence is correct and why?

"So, you are one of those people who isn't/aren't good at accepting help?"

This means that in this post we get to examine the agreement of subjects and verbs, with a little help from Bodie and Doyle and their colleagues from The Professionals.

Read on )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today, we're looking at two old sayings - "Physician, heal thyself," and "The cobbler always wears the worst shoes." Our fannish examples come from Jim and Blair of The Sentinel.
More about the topic under the cut )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] alexisjane asked when do you use "other" versus "else"?

Since this comm is Fandom Grammar and no other, what else can I do but use fannish examples to illustrate my answer? This post’s examples come from the characters of The Professionals.

More under the cut )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Welcome to today's post on the difference between dew, due, and do; three words which sound just the same - except when they don't. This post's fannish examples are from Maiden Rose.

More under the cut )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
There is nothing like a list of words that look and sound similar to confuse the heck out of us, so let's try and work out what's what with today's topic. Arthur Conan Doyle's characters, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, will assist.
Time to apprise ourselves of the definitions here. )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today's Say What! is a touch on the morbid side, as we consider two sayings, let the dead bury the dead and shrouds have no pockets. Our fannish examples are from Sapphire and Steel.
More on today's Say What! )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
People are always ready to wish for what can't be - and there's always someone ready to metaphorically shoot them down. Today's 'say what?' looks at two old proverbs pointing out that merely wishing never you got anywhere. Our fannish examples come courtesy of characters from Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
Today's Say What continues under the cut. )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
I have never lain upon a pallet considering the palette of the sunset sky while the taste of smoky coffee heated upon a campfire lingered on my palate, but if I did I could be confident that I used the right words to describe my experience.

Explanations lie under the cut, along with fannish examples from The Professionals.
Read on )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today we’re looking at two expressions with a martial theme – “keep your chin up and your powder dry”, and “old soldiers never die, they just fade away”.
Fannish examples are from The Sentinel )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] snailbones asked about whether there is any difference between the words orient and orientate in terms of meaning or preferred usage. I thought I had a definite position about this question but then, of course, I had to go do research...

Orient vs Orientate - where do we stand? )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today we're looking at two quotations: give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Servalan and Travis from Blake's 7 will provide fannish examples.
About rope and flattery )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
When I saw this topic, I glommed it with both hands,in earnest desire to assist fan authors with keeping their readers in the right narrative mood. There are circumstances where using crevasse instead of crevice can be really quite distracting.

Crevice and crevasse look similar, sound somewhat similar, have the same derivation, and have related, sort-of-similar meanings. But similar is not the same, so let’s take a look, with assistance from Teyla Emmagan and John Sheppard from Stargate: Atlantis.
Read on )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today's Say What? looks at cleanliness is next to godliness and early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, with help from characters from Starsky & Hutch and The Sentinel.
Read on... )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Fandom Grammar was asked "how do you use anymore vs any more?"


When I took this question on I figured I'd learn about something that confused me. As often happens with the English language the reason I was confused is because there are disagreements about appropriate usage. There are also interesting local variations, and I'll be illustrating the whole kit and caboodle with assistance from characters from The Sentinel and The Professionals.

Anymore and any more )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] malnpudl asked about the origin, meaning, and usage of the phrase memento mori. This phrase deals with one of life’s two supposed certainties. Here’s a hint: the certainty in question is not taxes.
With assistance from Fraser from Due South )

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