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In the Language Lounge, we look at how language changes incrementally over time in ways that are not obvious to one or two generations of speakers, but become obvious over a span of decades or centuries. Need proof? Just look at the elliptical grammar of English-language headlines, which can stump non-native speakers.  Continue reading...
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"The voice of a generation, Dylan's albums hit the airwaves at a time when protest songs could actually influence the national discourse."

I was confronted by this sentence when I sat down to take a copyediting test that would determine whether or not I got a job as an assistant editor on a biographical reference series.  Continue reading...
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I have to admit that I have a problem in teaching the verb to get to English language learners. It's not just that it is a verb that has multiple meanings depending on context — around a dozen, I'd say. No, the bigger problem for me is that I haven't recovered from it being a prohibited item when I was a kid.  Continue reading...
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Recently on Twitter, Amanda Pleva vented, "I guess I'm too much of a language nerd, but the title of the show 'Monster In Laws' makes me cringe every time I see it." Amanda was referring to the reality show on the A&E Network, "Monster In-Laws," which encourages viewers to "follow married couples dealing with meddling in-laws as they try to make peace with the help of an unconventional, no-nonsense relationship expert." So is the title of the show a linguistic faux-pas?  Continue reading...
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Do you know the grammatical mnemonic "FANBOYS"? It's an acronym for the coordinating conjunctions for, and, nor, but, or, and yet. Seems pretty handy, right? Not so much: Erin Brenner argues that "FANBOYS" hides more than it reveals.  Continue reading...
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In a class for speakers of English as a foreign language, Neal Whitman found himself teaching odd five-verb forms like "will have been being seen" and "would have been being seen." How did we end up with such unusual verb pile-ups?  Continue reading...
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Last month, The AP Stylebook, the style guide for many American newspapers, finally gave up on restricting hopefully to its original meaning, "in a hopeful manner." The stylebook now also allows hopefully to be as a sentence adverb meaning "it is hoped" or "it is to be hoped that."  Continue reading...
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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 57-63 of 185 Articles