randi2204: (guitar gods)
[personal profile] randi2204
Welcome back, grammar fans! [community profile] fandom_grammar has a lighter schedule during these summer months, but fear not, we still have interesting grammar issues to discuss!  Today we’ll be talking about a couple of words that are very commonly used in place of each other.  Ground and floor aren’t exactly the same thing, and we’ll get into their differences with some help from the characters of Sherlock.

Are you sure you don’t mean the ground floor? )
green_grrl: (SG1_JDWhat)
[personal profile] green_grrl
This Friday editorial is fun, plain and simple. The staff of The Week compiled 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent, and the headline is entirely accurate.

For all that James Nicoll's joke is true—English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary—there are still so many concepts we don't have words for in English. Sometimes these are locally influenced, such as distinct terms for snow in Inuktitut or for sweet potatoes in Hawaiian, but other times there are new ways of looking at life that other languages bring to the fore by naming them. How many of these words do you want to kidnap? )
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 …  )
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. )
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? )
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] http://users.livejournal.com/traycer_/
What's the difference between social, socialize, society, and societal?

With examples from Stargate SG-1


Even though these words share a similar meaning, "pertaining to society," they are still different in the way they are used. Read more... )
[identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/traycer_/
Today is the day we get to talk about the difference between goulashes and galoshes. Or to be more specific, "stews" and "boots."

With examples from X-Files and a reference to an old Charlie Chaplin film.


Goulashes vs. galoshes )
randi2204: (mal - blue eyed devil)
[personal profile] randi2204
Today we’re going to take a look at three words that, because of similar spellings, may often be confusing to differentiate.  Let’s jump right in and talk about indignation, ignition, and indigestion, with a little help from our friends in the original series of Star Trek.


I’ve got so much indignation that my indigestion has ignited. )
randi2204: (buffy - dream on!)
[personal profile] randi2204
Today we’ve got a trio of words that sound alike; two of them even have similar meanings to add to the confusion.  We’ll also take a look at the present participle forms for a couple of them, since they also sound alike. Get ready for wreak vs. wreck vs. reek, with a side order of wreaking and reeking.

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

We've had an inquiry about the difference between infirmary and infirmity. As in so many cases, the Romans are most directly to blame for the similarity between these words. Let's explore a little farther with the help of the staff and faculty of Hogwarts, from the Harry Potter series.

Getting to the root of the problem ...  )
[identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Today I tackle the difference between council/councillor and counsel/counsellor (or councilor and counselor if you’re writing in USA English).

Today's examples are brought to you by Star Trek: TOS, Star Trek:TNG, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, The Professionals, and The Sentinel. It's like a council of fandoms, counselling us on appropriate word usage.

The difference between council and counsel )
[identity profile] whymzycal.livejournal.com
The question is, "What's the difference between 'amused' and 'bemused'?"

Quite a bit, actually! With examples from Supernatural. )
[identity profile] supercheesegirl.livejournal.com
Answer: What is the difference between "nauseated" and "nauseous"?
With examples from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter.

It happens all the time: whether you're writing about an alien or a demon or a magic spell, or just an ordinary odor or taste that's supernaturally bad, you need to describe that special feeling you get when your stomach turns and you want to vomit. Nausea. We can all agree on its noun and verb forms: nausea is the feeling itself, and when we describe the action that the disgusting thing is performing to make you want to spew, we say "it nauseates me" (or "it nauseated me", if the nausea is, blessedly, over). But what about the adjective form? Do we say it is a "nauseating" thing, or a "nauseous" thing? And how do we describe the way it makes us feel: do we feel "nauseated" or "nauseous"?

Read more... )

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