chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

As Lewis Carroll's Alice observed, if you drink from a bottle marked "poison," it is almost certain to disagree with you sooner or later. But what about venom or a toxin? Today we'll take a look at these three terms and figure out what makes them different from one another.

With the help of the cast from Star Trek: The Original Series )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

Just look at those words! Aren't they wonderful? And as readers who consume a wide variety of literature, we recognize them, don't we? Of course we do!

A more difficult question is "Do we know exactly what they mean?" For my part, I'm not ashamed to say "not exactly, no."

These sorts of words are what author Seth Stevenson calls "bubble vocabulary." In his 2014 Slate article Shibboleth. Casuistry. Recondite., he takes a look at these words at the very edges of our vocabularies and suggests some strategies for attempting to employ them.

Wrestling with bubbles …  )
[identity profile] achacunsagloire.livejournal.com
Happy Halloween, dear Fandom Grammar readers!  Since we find ourselves once again on that most famous Day of Ghouls and Fright, it is only fitting that we examine two very terrible, very different, but often mistaken words whose definitions are no less insidious for the error: envy and jealousy.  Such a daunting challenge requires the assistance of those who have experience investigating humankind’s inner malice.  So, aiding us in our investigation of these two “evils within” will be Detective Sebastian Castellanos and the other characters from The Evil Within.

This won’t hurt—too much. Let’s get started, shall we? )
[identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/traycer_/
When do you use "nor" versus "or"?


With examples from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.


Nor vs Or )
ariestess: (beta-whore -- from ctorres)
[personal profile] ariestess
Getting words wrong is like a rite of passage when you're first learning to speak a language, regardless of whether you're a child with your mother tongue or an adult learning a second language. You learn from your mistakes and grow more proficient in the language. In "25 Common Words That You've Got Wrong", Joseph Hindy discusses twenty-five commonly used words that he claims aren't being used correctly. Or maybe it's better to say that they're not being used to their original meanings, as he describes the popular meaning of some words as an error next to the "correct" original, and sometimes archaic, meaning for each word. Hindy explains how he believes the errors may have come about, as well as how to fix them, in a conversational, non-accusatory tone. That he also attempts to connect with his readers by admitting to misusing some of these words only makes the article more relatable.

More about those 25 commonly incorrect words... )
[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 )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

Let's explore a curious quirk shared by a very few English verbs. They're all a bit irregular, and they all have to do with putting things or people into position.

With the help of the cast of the CLAMP manga series xxxHoLic ... )
[identity profile] achacunsagloire.livejournal.com
Greetings and salutations, Fandom Grammar watchers!  Today, we’re going to cover the difference between two words that often confuse both writers and readers, which make the correct use of them difficult to master.  I’m talking, of course, about that and which (both of which were covered at length by [livejournal.com profile] katiefoolery in her article about the same subject).

And we'll cover them with help from the masters of survival from 'Resident Evil': )
[identity profile] bluewolf458.livejournal.com
These two verbs - as well as immigration and emigration, immigrant and emigrant, the nouns formed from the verbs - are opposite sides of the same coin. Let's see if our friends in The Sentinel can help explain the difference. Read more... )
[identity profile] achacunsagloire.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] badtzphoto would like to know:

“What is the difference between "Are you trying to make me laugh?" and "Don't make me laugh!"?

There is little difference between the two besides the fact that the former is in question form and the latter is in command form. Both express a level of disbelief and mockery that vary according to the context and tone of the person who speaks them.

Let's check in with Sailor Moon and the other sailor soldiers for the answer: )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

[livejournal.com profile] debirlfan asked us "What are the rules for American versus British usage for 'hospital' and 'surgery'?

It's true that British usage on these common medical terms differs from what's encountered in the United States. We'll take a closer look at how these words work.

With help from the cast of Bleach )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

[livejournal.com profile] todeskun asked us, "When do you use 'fit' versus 'fitted'? As in, 'it fit him to a T' or 'it fitted him to a T'?"

It turns out that which one you use depends on which side of the Atlantic you live. Let's take a closer look.

We'll be assisted by the cast of Batman ...  )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

[livejournal.com profile] midnitemaraud_r asked us, "Does forward/forwards work the same way as toward/towards?"

Let's take a look, with help from the cast of the movie The Princess Bride.

In fact, it's not inconceivable that someone could be confused by this ...  )
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

[livejournal.com profile] sosaith asks, "When someone is dead or something doesn't exist anymore, should you ever use the present tense to describe them?"

The answer is "it depends." Let's get down to the particulars with the cast of Rosemary Sutcliff's YA historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth - or, if you prefer, the cast of "The Eagle" (2011). Dead and/or gone - but not forgotten! )

chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji

campylobacter has a question about the difference between snugly and snuggly. Let's take a closer look at these close cousins with help from our immortal friends from Good Omens, Aziraphale and Crowley.

On with the word geekery! )
[identity profile] green-grrl.livejournal.com
Is it Ms. or Ms?

The answer is, well, either--and it will take a little more exploration to determine which to use. with examples from Alias and James Bond )
[identity profile] katiefoolery.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] t_verano poses an interesting question: When is it appropriate to use "which" vs. "that"? What is the appropriate comma use in each situation?

Is there, in fact, a distinct rule that applies to this situation? Or does it depend entirely on mood, which can change from one moment to the next?

Let's find out, with examples from Discworld... )
[identity profile] mendax.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] callistosh65 asks: When is it appropriate to use toward vs. towards? Does this change in British fandoms?

With examples from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and usage guidelines from Garner’s Modern American Usage.

Why yes, it does change in British fandoms. )

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