‘Language Links’ Category

  1. Every day or Everyday?

    February 4, 2014 by edotgdot

    . . .it’s a gettin’ closer / Goin’ faster than a roller coaster / Love like yours will surely come my way. . .  -Buddy Holly

    Everyday or every day? Well, it depends.

    Everyday is an adjective used to describe things that (1) occur every day or (2) are ordinary or commonplace. In the phrase every day, the adjective every modifies the noun day, and the phrase usually functions adverbially.

    Every day you eat breakfast. Sam walks the dog every day.

    Can’t figure out which one to use? Replace everyday or every day with each day. If each day would make sense in its place, then you want to use the two-word form.

    To explore further, review these examples.

    I take a nap every day.

    Reading is an everyday activity.

    I take the train to the office every day.

    Those are my everyday shoes.

    (Buddy Holly should have used Every Day, but we’ll let it slide.)

  2. Little Free Library

    September 12, 2013 by Nicole Grabowski

    What’s the first (relaxing) thing you can think of doing on a lazy afternoon?

     

    Reading a good book, of course! A recent visit to a beach in the Pacific Northwest revealed the coolest idea I’ve seen in a while: a little free library; a tiny wooden schoolhouse mailbox-of-sorts filled with books for the taking.

     

    It’s stunning these days to see something for free; a successful enterprise based upon the honor system. It’s so rare; perhaps that’s part of the charm. But the idea makes perfect sense: leave a book you’re ready to part with, and take a book to read. You can even keep the new book if you love it just that much–no late fees or e-book charges! It’s a simple idea, but one that has touched hands and hearts worldwide.

     

    I’ve seen one more of these feel-good boxes, in the trendy area of a waterfront town in Washington State. This prompted me to investigate the inspiration behind such an idea. Turns out they have a whole website dedicated to the project, which began in 2009 when Tod Bol mounted the first little free library on his Wisconsin lawn in memory of his mother, an avid reader and school teacher. Since then people have created thousands of these beautiful miniature libraries to promote literacy and goodwill.

     

    The website provides the latest news, including philanthropic opportunities and a step-by-step on how to start your own little free library. I plan on starting my own with my children’s books. Hopefully it won’t be long before you see one pop up in your neighborhood, or create one yourself.

     

    LittleLibrary

     

  3. Know your stuff…

    March 2, 2012 by edotgdot

     

    A little humor to start the weekend! Going back to the basics, folks:

    “Your” is possessive as in your pen or your computer.

    Whereas “you’re” is the contraction of or the combination of “you are” and would be used in a sentence such as “you’re cool” or “I like that dress you’re wearing.”

    When reviewing that next e-mail, tweet or Facebook post, make certain your stuff is in order!

  4. Typos & Twitter

    February 7, 2012 by edotgdot

    Has Social Media induced carelessness when it comes to spelling and grammar?

     

    How many times do you see something like this plastered on Facebook?

     

    “Your coming to Chicago this weekend?” as opposed to  “You’re coming to Chicago this weekend?”

     

    With the ability to post in a matter of seconds on Facebook and Twitter, we are inundated with typos. Does the web reveal that most people are not aware of some of the fundamental rules of English? We are not all professional editors and writers, but putting forth the best effort when making any statement should be paramount. As a stickler, I find it difficult to not ask others to correct some of the errors. (I don’t do it because I suspect it will not go over well). And when I see a mistake of my own (yes, it happens), I am no less than horrified and do my best to redeem myself.

     

    In their new book, The Great Typo Hunt, writer and editor Jeff Deck and his friend Benjamin Herson trekked across the United States in an effort to correct as many typos as possible. An admirable feat and an interesting concept, however, if readers understand the message do typos really matter? Typos matter: what you write is a reflection of yourself and to an extent, your intelligence and ability.

     

    In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle famously flubbed the spelling of “potato” by adding an “e” on the end. The media sensationalized this seemingly innocuous event because it may have verified the opposition’s criticism and prompted others to question whether or not a man who could not spell “potato” was capable of leading the country. In his subsequent memoir, Quayle said: “It was a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable. Politicians live and die by the symbolic sound bite.’’

     

    The hard rules may not apply in the case of Social Media, yet you are still posting, broadcasting, or publishing your thoughts for the world to see. Typos happen and mistakes are not the end of the world. But being continually lax about grammar could lead to a blunder that could cost you the next job interview or even public scrutiny. The next time you are posting then, will you give it a second glance?

     

    Sources: cbcnews Canada

     

  5. Latin Phrases, etc.

    January 9, 2012 by edotgdot

    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
     
    Latin, though considered a dead language, has had and continues to have a significant impact on English as it is used in the creation of many words. What’s more, we find several Latin words or sayings interspersed throughout our speech and written materials; this is not limited to reference lists and legal works. Often we speak, write, or read Latin without giving it a second thought. In magazines and newspapers, for example, journalists use “sic.” to show that an error has been purposely replicated in a direct quotation. And, we all have been called in for the “ad hoc” meeting at the office. You see, Latin still lives and some of the phrases are downright cool and insightful. (Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam means “I will either find a way or make one”). So for today’s lesson in exploring all that is language, why don’t we brush up on our Latin by reviewing the short list that I have compiled here? Carpe diem!
     

    ad hoc   for this special purpose

    ad infinitum   without limit

    ad nauseam  to a disgusting extent

    ad valorem  according to value

    addenda  things to be added

    advocatus diaboli  devil’s advocate

    ars gratia artis   art for art’s sake

    bona fide  genuine, sincere

    circa (abbreviated c. and followed by a date) about

    cor unum   one heart

    delectatio morosa   peevish delight

    deus ex machina  a contrived event that resolves a problem at the last moment

    dictum meum pactum   my word is my bond

    et alii (et al.)  and others

    et cetera (etc.)   and so on

    exempli gratia (e.g.)   for example

    fiat   let it be done

    ibidem (ibid. )   in the same place

    in deo speramus   in God we trust

    in extenso   at full length

    in memoriam   in memory

    in situ   in its original situation

    in vino veritas   in wine there is truth

    ipso facto  by that very fact

    magna cum laude   with great honor or academic distinction

    magnum opus   great work

    mea culpa   by my fault

    modus operandi   the manner of working

    non sequitur  it does not follow

    pax intrantibus  peace to those who enter

    per omnia saecula saeculorum   for ever and ever

    pro bono   done without charge in the public interest

    pro forma   for the sake of form

    quantum in me fuit   I have done my best

    quid pro quo   something for something

    sic.   thus (used in quotations to indicate that an error has been deliberately reproduced)

    silentium est aureum   silence is golden

    ine qua non   an indispensable condition

    status quo   the existing condition

    supra   above or on an earlier page

    tempus fugit   time flies

    ultra vires  beyond the power

    vice versa   the order being reversed

    virgo intacta   virgin

    vox populi  voice of the people

     
    References: Compendium of Good Writing, N.E. Renton
     

  6. It’s Banned Books Week.

    September 29, 2011 by edotgdot

    You have the freedom to read.

     

    And that’s good news. Celebrate by participating in Banned Books Week. Just pick up your favorite banned book or controversial novel. You can also participate in the Virtual Read-Out: simply upload a video of yourself on YouTube reading an excerpt from your chosen contentious work. For more information visit the official site.

  7. Pronouns & Personality

    September 22, 2011 by edotgdot

    Can our word choices say something about our personalities?

     

    Indeed, says James W. Pennebaker chairperson of the psychology department at the University of Texas at Austin. Pennebaker’s new book, The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us, examines our language choices and what these word choices suggest about our personalities and relationships.

     

    Below are some interesting findings from the Pennebaker’s research:

    – Deceptive people, use the word “I” less when telling a lie.

    – Also,  a powerful person or one of higher status generally uses the pronoun “I” less than a person of lower status who will use “I” more frequently in speech.

    – Using more “I’s” and “we’s” can make a speaker seem more relatable.

     

    Are your curious to know what your language choices say about you? For a free analysis, visit The Secret Life of Pronouns.

     

    Sources: The Globe and Mail

  8. Celebrate National Book Week on Facebook

    August 9, 2011 by edotgdot

    Facebookers! Honor National Book Week by updating your Facebook status just like e.g. EDITORS. Here is our post:

    It’s National Book Week. The rules are: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status. “The final and fourth part of our study will be the sugar coat, which is the entertainment dimensions that help to attract interest in the story and also to camouflage and conceal its hidden secrets.”

     

     

  9. ‘OWL’ you need for correct citations

    August 1, 2011 by edotgdot

    First of all, my apologies for that pun.  But it’s nearly impossible to get excited about reference formatting, right?  Often that’s the last thing anyone working on a paper wants to think about.

    There’s a great resource online at the Purdue OWL website.  OWL in this case is the ‘Online Writing Lab’ at Purdue University, and they have a wealth of online materials for writing in the correct citation style.  Beyond that, they have grammar exercises for ESL speakers, commonly misused English words and phrases, and even resources for teachers and students.  Purdue OWL is in an easy to navigate, searchable format that makes it a go-to for general formatting questions. Take a look!

    This OWL is no feathery birdbrain.  Do you need MLA? APA? Chicago style? Or even AP style?  Before you go out and buy every available manual, visit OWL and see if you can get your questioned answered there.  You’ll want to bookmark it for any and all academic writing projects.  (And hey, if you REALLY love them, make a charitable contribution as a thanks for their great free resources and helpful hints).

  10. Sentence of the Week

    July 28, 2011 by edotgdot

    Calling all writers, readers, and fans of the written word! The New York Times needs you to send in the Sentence of the Week for The 6th Floor Blog while the critic-at-large is out on vacation. What have you read this week that resonated with you? Was it a sign, billboard, essay, paper, Facebook post, or an excerpt from your favorite novelist or poet? Here is e.g.’s contribution:

    “Whether we are describing a king, an assassin, a thief, an honest man, a prostitute, a nun, a young girl, or a stallholder in a market, it is always ourselves that we are describing.” Guy de Maupassant in Stealing Fire from the Gods: The Complete Guide to Story for Writers & Filmmakers, James Bonnet

    Please see the full article for more details on how you can submit your Sentence of the Week.