Monthly Archives: February 2013

“Here” Ye, “Here” Ye

In the legal world, a push (OK, a gentle shove) is on for lawyers to use plain, everyday English.  Here are some of their old standbys  that use “here,” along with their alternatives.  You don’t have to be a lawyer to benefit from giving up this la-de-dah language.

1. Hereafter, hereby (now)

2. Herein (here)

3. Hereinafter (from now on)

4. Hereinbefore, hereto (until now)

5. Hereupon (immediately after this, right now)

6. Herewith (with this letter)

Don’t make your readers translate English into English.


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Find the Two Errors in This Sentence

Is that the greyhound who lives with the woman that takes in rescue dogs?

The mistakes are in the pronouns:

1.  It should be “the greyhound that….”  That and which are used for objects and animals.

2. It should be “the woman who….”  Who and whom are used for people.

One of these days I’ll tackle that vs. which and who vs. whom for you.

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How to Spell “Fish”

George Bernard Shaw was so frustrated by the vagaries of English spelling that he tried, unsuccessfully, to revise standard orthography: each letter should have only one sound.

The way he saw it, using English spelling to write “fish” could easily be GHOTI:




Got it?


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But/However; And plus

But and however both indicate a change in the direction your sentence is going, so don’t use them in the same sentence:  But Brenda, however, got the job although she isn’t the most qualified.

Choose one or the other:  But Brenda got the job although she isn’t the most qualified or However, Brenda got the job although she isn’t the most qualified.

I often hear and sometimes read sentences beginning with And plus.  Despite what all our English teachers told us many years ago, it is acceptable to begin sentences with And (or other conjunctions), but and and plus are redundant.  Again, choose one or the other.

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Upholstery Words

Here’s a list of what I call upholstery words; they are padding.  I’ll put clear alternatives in parentheses after them:

In order to     (to–those words “in order” never add any meaning)

The above-referenced location     (this location, that location)

Due to the fact that     (because, since)

Subsequent to     (after)

As per your request     (as you requested)

In lieu of    (instead of)

For the purpose of    (to, for)

In view of the foregoing     (therefore, so)

It may be said that, I just want to let you know that    (just say it)

Needless to say, it goes without saying   (skip it)

Executed on July 6, 2012        (just write the date  or say “signed on”)



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To Tell or Not to Tell?

What do you think I should do?  I have a friend who lives in another city.  Often on Facebook I see her posts involving her and another person; her style always goes for “myself,” as in, “Larry and myself went away for the weekend,” or “Larry and myself saw a great movie yesterday.

I guess it doesn’t take much to drive me crazy, but sentences like those do the trick.   I am so tempted to tell her that “myself” is used only for emphasis when you’ve already mentioned yourself:  “I planted those apple trees myself.” I think she sounds ignorant, yet she is a bright, talented person.

A voice in my head says to let it go.  What difference does it make?  But another voice says she is being judged unfairly because of her grammar, and that bothers me.  And yet a third voice tells me I can’t change the world’s grammar.

I doubt she reads my blog.  If she does and if she recognizes herself, my problem is solved.  I would hope it wouldn’t be a friendship breaker. What would you do?

Whoops!  I just realized I’d better not post this to Facebook.

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Words or Not Words?

Here’s a short list of commonly used words that aren’t standard—yet.  Obviously, all words are invented by people, so it may be just a matter of time until these are recognized as standard English.

1. Irregardless.  It’s “regardless,” but if enough people keep using the “ir” form, it just might stick.  Ick.

2. Orientate.  It’s “orient.”  Less is more.

3. Administrate.  “Administer” suffices.

4. More importantly.  Drop that “ly.”  What you’re really saying is, “It is more important….”

5.  Heighth.  It’s “height.”  Thop lithping.

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