Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sometime or Some Time?

Usually you will write this as one word: Our uncle will arrive sometime next month.

You want two words when “some” is used as an adjective in place of “a short time,” “a long time,” or “an indefinite time.”

When you need two words, you will usually want a preposition before them: Charlie has not visited us for some time.

Also, when you use two words, you can replace “some time” with a substitute expression:  “Some time ago” can be replaced with “a short time ago” or “a long time ago.”  You can’t do that with “sometime.”

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Filed under All things having to do with the English language

A Poem to Begin the New Year

Here is a poem to begin the new year. It was written by that most prolific of all authors, Anonymous. If English is not your native language, I commend you for whatever competence in the language you possess. If English is your native language, I commend your ability to spell correctly to any degree.
Why English Is So Hard
 
We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
 
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
 
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim.

 

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Filed under All things having to do with the English language

Mistaken Plurals

I often hear people use the following for plurals of CRISIS and BREAKFAST: They say CRISISES and BREAKFASTES.  Those non-words look really strange, don’t they? They sound just as odd. The plural of CRISIS is CRISES (cry-sees) and the plural of BREAKFAST is BREAKFASTS (brek-fists).

Phew! I feel a lot better having taken care of that problem.

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Filed under All things having to do with the English language

It’s Really Not That Difficult

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January 1, 2014 · 5:06 PM