whymzycal: night drips in through a window (night floods in)
[personal profile] whymzycal
Happy Monday, grammar fans, and welcome to today’s post, in which we answer the question, “Is it ‘drips and drabs’ or ‘dribs and drabs’?” with a little help from the characters of Sherlock )
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. )
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. )
ariestess: (grammar use it -- from shoegal_icons)
[personal profile] ariestess
Welcome to another installment of the Friday Funnies! Just on a Monday!

{Bonus points to anyone who gets that reference.}


Cyanide & Happiness (Explosm.net)


Even when I hear things like this being said in Westerns or by "hillbillies", it still makes my skin crawl. But I'd be a hypocrite if I said I've never used a double negative before. My prime transgression? "Ain't nobody got no time for that."

So what's your favorite double negative to say?
randi2204: EVIL! (dawn - the slayer)
[personal profile] randi2204
In today’s edition of Say What?, we’ll be taking a look at a couple of sayings that remind you that what you say, or maybe what you don’t say, can have great impact on what people think of you.  Let’s jump right into better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt and tell the truth and shame the devil, with some help from the characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Telling the truth doesn’t make you a fool, does it? )
[identity profile] chiroho.livejournal.com
This week's Say What? looks at two sayings that are related to annelids, and both of them counsel caution in different ways. My examples for explaining these sayings will be from Person of Interest.

What happens if the worm that the early bird catches decides to turn? )
ariestess: (regina apple -- from miz_tith)
[personal profile] ariestess
Today's installment of "Say What?" will look at two phrases that have a common basis in Christianity and taking responsibility for your misdeeds. You've probably heard both but may not know what they mean. So let's find out together with the help of our friends over at Once Upon a Time, shall we?

(Don't) rob Peter to pay Paul. / (The) writing on the wall. )
[identity profile] achacunsagloire.livejournal.com
There is nothing quite so amusing about living in the American South as overhearing your fellow Southerners’ lingo while waiting in line at the supermarket.  Besides the inevitable “dag burn” here and “ain’t” there, there’s a long list of colorful, exaggerated expressions that Southern speakers often customize when using, making these expressions more colorful and exaggerated than before.  Daniel Sosnoski covers one such expression, “butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” as well as a wide range of its variants (including the racier ones) in this very thorough article.  He touches a little on the friendly, humorous nature of this and other expressions, even the ones that are a bit (or a lot) on the insulting side.

Read more: )
[identity profile] whymzycal.livejournal.com
It's Friday, and that means it's time for another exciting "Say What?"! In today's installment, we're going to learn about two sayings whose current meanings probably originated in the U.S.—with examples from Person of Interest. )
[identity profile] achacunsagloire.livejournal.com
Happy Friday, Fandom Grammar watchers!  It sure has been an exciting past few weeks, what with the release of the new Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer.  Although it provided some juicy details for us fans to salivate over in the coming months, it did little to sate our hunger for Hunger Games goodness.

Speaking of which, this week’s food-oriented idioms inspire hunger of a different sort: “half a loaf is better than no bread” and “the bread always falls butter side down.” Let’s satisfy our hunger for knowledge below the cut:

First up is "half a loaf is better than no bread": )
randi2204: (mag7 - josiah not-crazy-smile)
[personal profile] randi2204
Welcome to your Friday, grammar fans, and to another edition of Say What?!  The sayings we’re going to be looking at today are all about the work we do and the quality of that work.  Our friends from the Magnificent Seven will help us take a look at if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well and if you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

Doing, doing, done! )
ariestess: (grammar use it -- from shoegal_icons)
[personal profile] ariestess
Hello there, fellow grammarians! Today we're going to answer the question, What are "false friends"?, with a little help from our friends over at Captain America: The First Avenger.

What are 'false friends'? )
[identity profile] green-grrl.livejournal.com
Today’s question is why we say “sleep tight” and not “sleep tightly.” After all, “sleep” is a verb, so shouldn’t we use the adverb form “tightly”?

Readers of a certain age might remember a similar issue with Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign in the 1990s, which had thousands of people crying, “No, think differently!” More recently, singer and grammar nerd “Weird Al” Yankovic has been seen changing a road sign from “Caution Drive Slow” to “Caution Drive Slowly.”

The good news is that there are readers who recognize that an action verb (like sleep or think or drive) should be modified by an adverb, not an adjective. The bad news for people trying to use correct grammar is that there are times when what looks like an adjective actually is an adverb, called a “plain” or “flat” adverb.

Let’s take a closer look at these little known modifiers with examples from Marvel’s Avengers. )
[identity profile] achacunsagloire.livejournal.com
Happy Friday, Fandom Grammar watchers!  It sure has been one crazy week--which makes the topic of today's Say What? most appropriate: the idioms "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" and "helter skelter." Thanks primarily to pop culture and events of the late 20th century, both of these idioms have come to be associated with madness and terror.  As such, we'll be traveling to the sleepy resort town of Silent Hill for help in understanding their meaning and context.

The horror begins just under the cut: )
randi2204: Seven together riding off into the sunrise (GotC) (mag7 - silhouette seven purple and gold)
[personal profile] randi2204
Today’s question deals with double negatives.  We’ll take a look at them and when, if ever, they’re okay to use with a little help from our friends in the Magnificent Seven.

I don’t want to not learn grammar! )
[identity profile] bluewolf458.livejournal.com
Both of our sayings today are British in origin. Luckily, Blair from The Sentinel is an anthropologist and has travelled widely, so he can give us some help.Read more... )
[identity profile] chiroho.livejournal.com
Welcome to another edition of Say What? where we look at the origin of different sayings and proverbs. This time our sayings relate to familiarity and closeness, and I'll be using characters from Person of Interest in my examples.

Are you familiar with your neighbours? )
[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] pinkeuphoria1.livejournal.com
This week, we’re going to answer the following question: “What are the differences in usage between "bring" and "take"? Are there regional and/or national differences?”. Tricky, isn’t it? Well, not anymore, since we’re about to solve the mystery surrounding “bring” and “take”, with help from the characters of "How I Met Your Mother"!

Read more )
[identity profile] chiroho.livejournal.com
In this week's Say What? we'll be looking at two sayings that are clothing related, though only one of them is directly related to what we wear. I'll be using characters from Person of Interest for my examples.

What do your clothes make of you? )

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