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How I Miss “Calvin and Hobbes.”

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October 17, 2016 · 12:53 PM

Did Dickens Consider This?

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September 16, 2016 · 3:26 PM

Dogs Are So Smart

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December 18, 2015 · 12:28 PM

About Lettuce

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Let’s see: Iceberg, romaine, arugula, Boston, frisee.

Sorry, I meant about “Let us.” If you make that into a contraction, it becomes “Let’s.” Without the apostrophe, it means “allows”: “The computer lets you correct typing errors easily.”

Let’s hear it for the computer. Sometimes even autocorrect gets it right. But you still have to proofread; don’t trust it.

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March 21, 2014 · 5:00 PM

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 would 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!

—ANONYMOUS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 11, 2014 · 2:13 PM

The Grammar Pirate

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February 21, 2014 · 4:22 PM

According to Hoyle

Edmond Hoyle, who started it all

Edmond Hoyle, who started it all

This expression means, in effect, “the official rules” governing a particular situation. Edmond Hoyle was a real person who, in 1741, wrote A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist, whist being a forerunner of bridge. This popular book settled many arguments about the game and has been revised over the centuries to give the rules of many card games. Hoyle’s name has been used ever since to represent the authority of accepted and ethical behavior not only in card games but in many life situations.

Are you playing according to Hoyle today?

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January 31, 2014 · 12:35 PM