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English teachers used to drill into students that they did not "feel good." They "felt well." It was the corollary to "I feel bad," not "I feel badly," to which many teachers would reply something like: "Well, maybe if you took off your gloves, you could feel better." "Good," "well," "bad," and "badly" all define how you feel, but not in the same way, grammatically.  Continue reading...
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The pope gets to wear nice red shoes, and a friend said, "I'm really jealous of those!" But, technically, she couldn't be jealous, unless she thought the shoes were hers, and the pope had stolen them. Instead, she "envied" the shoes, and was "envious" that he gets to wear them.  Continue reading...
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We have weather "forecasts," budget "projections," attempts at earthquake "predictions." Most dictionaries say those are all synonyms for one another. So why doesn't the nightly weather report call them "predictions" or "projections"?  Continue reading...
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Merrill Perlman, who writes the "Language Corner" column for Columbia Journalism Review, guides us through some commonly confused words for common folk: "It's a popular mistake to confuse populace and populous. Throw in the similar-sounding populist, and even more mistakes are made. They mean almost the same thing, only different."  Continue reading...
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Trying to teach journalists the finer points of law is nearly as hard as trying to teach them the finer points of math. So the advice often is boiled down to overly simplistic "rules": A house is "burglarized," but a person is "robbed."  Continue reading...
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A Florida correspondent writes: "My boss is obsessed with Strunk & White, and so tells me that I can never start a sentence with 'however' when using it to mean 'nevertheless.' I disagree with him and say that I can start a sentence with 'however' when I mean 'nevertheless' if I put a comma after the 'however.'"  Continue reading...
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The American Heart Association says that heart attacks kill about 1,200 people in the United States every day. In many of those people's obituaries or death notices, the cause of death will be given as "an apparent heart attack." Except, as many a journalism professor has noted, "apparent heart attacks" can't kill; only real heart attacks can kill.  Continue reading...
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2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 56 Articles