Tag Archives: English language
From my friend Nicki, here are some insults from famous people. Oh, the power of words!
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”
“He had delusions of adequacy .” -Walter Kerr (theater critic)
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” – Winston Churchill
“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” -Clarence Darrow
Stay tuned for more.
One of my favorite programs is “The Great British Baking Show.” In an early season, a show photographer caught this image of a squirrel on the grounds where the program is shot. (The contestants often use nuts in their recipes, and this photo does indicate a squirrel that is definitely well hung. But I digress.)
My husband and I hung some of my paintings today. Since everything I do makes me think of language, of course I thought of the difference between hanged and hung, two words that are frequently used interchangeably and incorrectly. I originally wrote this post over four years ago, without the squirrel, so I thought I’d do a rerun. Here’s the scoop:
HANGED is used for executions or suicide: “The criminal was hanged.” Sometimes you see “hanged to death” along with “strangled to death” and “starved to death.” Those are all redundancies. If you’re hanged, strangled or starved, you are dead.
HUNG is used for decor: “Angela hung the picture of the well hung model on her bedroom wall.”
To my consternation, I have noticed that many people and advertising companies, perhaps the majority, omit a comma when a person’s or team’s name is in the sentence. I’ll add an X where commas belong in the sentences below. Pay particular attention to sentences that directly address a person.
Good for youX Henry!
NoX Sam, you are wrong about who started the argument.
Good morningX everyone.
In the last example, if you use the comma you are springing a surprise on Marlena. Without the comma, you are ordering someone to surprise Marlena as opposed to surprising someone else.
If words end in “c,” we need to add a “k” to keep the hard “c” sound when affixing the suffixes ed, ing, or y:
Picnic ————-> picnicking, picnicker, picknicked
Panic-————> panicky, panicking
Shellac———-> shellacking, shellacked
From my friend Marilyn. I love it when you send me ideas and examples. Keep them coming.
… A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
… When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
… The batteries were given out free of charge
… With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
… A boiled egg is hard to beat.
… When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.
… Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
… Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
… A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
… The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
… He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
… When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.
… Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.