1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 56 Articles

We have occasionally invoked Tom Lehrer when discussing how the simple letter "e" can change the meaning of many words, citing his song "Silent 'E.'" That "e" can also magically change a word into another form, such as a noun into a verb. This being illogical English, there are few "rules" as to what it does, though.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
Sometimes, a photo "ekes out of the printer." Other times, electronics help "to eke out extra mileage" in cars. And in a more familiar usage, a movie "shows how a once-budding folk singer tries to eke out a living." It's no wonder, then, that most people think "eke out" means to achieve something through effort, to barely get by.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
When coming up with adjectives for made-up things, we have many to choose among: fictional, fictitious, or fictive, or even factitious. Choose wisely, or risk saying something you don't mean.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
When it gets cold and wintry, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, "alongside acts of goodwill and kindness, a major storm like this also brings out bad actors who take advantage of their customers." (If they're lousy at pretending to be good Samaritans, why are they a threat?)  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
In "eminent domain," a government can seize property for public use, as long as it compensates the owner. In "imminent domain," it stands to reason, the government wants to do it NOW. Except that there is no such thing as "imminent domain." It's a mistake — a common one, but a mistake nonetheless.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
In recent weeks, we've talked about idioms that are misheard, and thus miswritten. Now, we'll discuss some idioms that say the opposite of what they mean and whether they're "acceptable" English.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.
For two weeks we highlighted phrases that are written from what people hear, sometimes with amusing results. A reader asked: "Aren't all those [examples] mondegreens, like 'very close veins' when 'varicose veins' is meant?" Yes and know.  Continue reading...
Click here to read more articles from Word Count.

1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 1-7 of 56 Articles