M.Leddy + usage   140

Shirley’s whom
Shirley Temple: “You saw who — I mean, whom ?”
grammar  usage 
11 days ago by M.Leddy
All the King’s Whom
“For whom?”

“For those whom pay me.”
film  usage 
november 2019 by M.Leddy
“An important Rubicon”
A Rubicon is by definition important. Ask Julius Caesar. Or Austin Dickinson and Mabel Loomis Todd.
usage  words 
october 2019 by M.Leddy
Not prolific
The word’s associations with new life and creativity make it a particularly grotesque choice for characterizing a killer.
usage  words 
october 2019 by M.Leddy
The war on spelling
Bryan Garner and others offer their thoughts about the war on spelling.
grammar  misspelling  spelling  usage 
september 2019 by M.Leddy
Grocery’s
Curtis Honeycutt on weird and wonderful practice of adding -’s to the name of a grocery store.
names  usage 
june 2019 by M.Leddy
“Mister General”
Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) addresses William Barr as “General” and “Mister General.”
usage 
may 2019 by M.Leddy
A review of Dreyer’s English
Dreyer’s English is a disappointing and not especially useful book. Its design finally became clear to me when I hit the chapter “Notes on Proper Nouns,” devoted to the proper spelling of several dozen proper nouns — “the germ of the book,” as Dreyer, copy chief at Random House, calls it. Dreyer’s English is something of a chatty in-house style guide.
grammar  usage 
april 2019 by M.Leddy
“Dearest Liz”
A short film from Field Notes.
grammar  usage 
february 2019 by M.Leddy
Dreyer’s English
An Utterly Correct Guide: it’s as if matters of writing are turning into matters of etiquette: which fork — or word — to use.
grammar  usage  writing 
february 2019 by M.Leddy
In the early morning raid
I like seeing the Special Counsel’s indictment of Roger Stone point out miscreants’ sloppiness in texting.
grammar  misspelling  spelling  usage 
january 2019 by M.Leddy
A linguist looks at Trump’s tweets
The linguist John McWhorter looks at Donald Trump’s tweets and finds a “blindness to the basics of adult-level composition.”
grammar  misspelling  spelling  usage 
january 2019 by M.Leddy
“How to use the passive voice”
Any teacher who has seen student-writers work to strip all sense of agency from their sentences (“It will be argued that,” “It is observed that”) understands the point of “Use the active voice.”
grammar  Strunk  usage  EBWhite 
january 2019 by M.Leddy
“Hi” vs. “hello”
From Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon.
fiction  usage  words 
november 2018 by M.Leddy
Word of the day: involve
I began to wonder what’s wrong with “involve” and whether a recommendation to avoid it could be found elsewhere.
usage  words 
august 2018 by M.Leddy
MSNBC, sheesh
“To tell everything that he knows fulsomely and honestly.”
sheesh  usage  words 
august 2018 by M.Leddy
MSNBC, sheesh
“If he demures. . . .”
sheesh  usage 
july 2018 by M.Leddy
Lucy’s whom
Lucy has asked Charlie Brown, “Which is correct, ‘Who are we kidding?’ or ‘Whom are we kidding?’”
comics  grammar  Peanuts  usage 
june 2018 by M.Leddy
The past plead
Pled? Plead? Pleaded?
usage 
may 2018 by M.Leddy
“I suspicioned you weren’t.”
Beverly Cleary and a friend find The Century Handbook of Writing a source of hilarity.
BeverlyCleary  usage 
may 2018 by M.Leddy
“Say telephone.”
Claudine and I, who were inclined to giggle at almost anything, found The Century Handbook entertaining. We often quoted examples. If I said, “Phone me this evening,” she replied, “‘Phone. A contraction not employed in formal writing. Say telephone.’”
BeverlyCleary  usage 
april 2018 by M.Leddy
NPR, sheesh
The “Democratic memo” didn’t drop. The House Intelligence Committee released it.
NPR  sheesh  usage 
march 2018 by M.Leddy
That and which
From Bruce Ross-Larson’s Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words, useful advice for solving the problem of a relative clause that doesn’t follow the noun it modifies.
writing  usage 
february 2018 by M.Leddy
“Wormwise”?!
From “Peanuts”: the often inelegant, sometimes playful suffix.
comics  Peanuts  usage 
january 2018 by M.Leddy
Literally eighty-sixed
A New York bar bans customers who say “literally.”
usage 
january 2018 by M.Leddy
Oliver Kamm on The Elements of Style
Oliver Kamm, writing in The Sunday Times, exhorts his reader to “ditch the style guides and stop worrying about passives.” And he points to a usual suspect.
grammar  Strunk  EBWhite  usage 
january 2018 by M.Leddy
Was or were ?
From the comic strip Dustin.
comics  grammar  usage 
january 2018 by M.Leddy
Recently updated
At Wilfrid Laurier University, there’s now a fact-finding report and a university president’s statement.
culture  grammar  usage 
december 2017 by M.Leddy
Pronouns and institutions
A deep experience of the Kafkaesque.
culture  grammar  usage 
december 2017 by M.Leddy
The NSA’s Grammar Geek
Advice columns on grammar and usage from the National Security Agency’s Grammar Geek(s).
grammar  usage 
december 2017 by M.Leddy
Doublet and hose and usage
More on the “Jane Austen” fallacy.
grammar  usage 
november 2017 by M.Leddy
MSNBC, sheesh
Not begging the question.
sheesh  usage 
october 2017 by M.Leddy
A Garner quiz
Bryan Garner offers a quiz in minimalist editing.
BryanGarner  grammar  usage 
october 2017 by M.Leddy
“Grammar Nazi”
Funny and charming, even if what Reese Lansangan cares about is, for the most part, spelling and usage.
grammar  misspelling  spelling  usage 
september 2017 by M.Leddy
Dream commercial
In last night’s sleep, a commercial for The Tonight Show.
advertising  television  usage 
september 2017 by M.Leddy
Literally and figuratively
The comic strip Dustin addresses usage.
comics  usage 
september 2017 by M.Leddy
Flaunt for flout (PBS, sheesh)
“The hippies openly flaunted the law.”
PBS  sheesh  usage 
august 2017 by M.Leddy
The “Jane Austen” fallacy
“The point here is that past usage does not justify modern practice.”
grammar  usage 
may 2017 by M.Leddy
Orient and orientate
Choosing “orientate” on either side of the Atlantic might mark a speaker or writer as something of an outlier.
usage  words 
may 2017 by M.Leddy
It’s the Office Of Thesecretary
A post I wrote about ending a sentence with “it” continues to get visits every day, from all over. Even, yesterday, from someone in the Department Of The Interior, Office Of Thesecretary.
usage 
april 2017 by M.Leddy
PBS, sheesh
From tonight’s PBS News Hour : “There is confusion over conflicting advice about whom should get tested for the disease.”
PBS  sheesh  usage 
april 2017 by M.Leddy
Review: Word by Word
Kory Stamper’s Word by Word does for lexicography what Mary Norris’s Between You & Me does for copyediting: it makes visible the work, the worker, and the workplace.
dictionary  grammar  usage  words 
april 2017 by M.Leddy
“Alternate” and “alternative” “facts”
Mary Norris on “alternate” and “alternative.”
politics  usage  words 
january 2017 by M.Leddy
The Warfel Law of Divided Usage
“Whenever a variant is denounced as wrong by books or teachers, that ‘wrong’ usage will gain currency and will occur frequently in speech and writing.”
grammar  usage 
january 2017 by M.Leddy
Still at it
Removing “comprised of” from Wikipedia articles.
grammar  usage  Wikipedia 
december 2016 by M.Leddy
GMEU app
Garner’s Modern English Usage is now available as an iOS app, beautifully designed and exceedingly useful.
BryanGarner  grammar  iOS  usage 
november 2016 by M.Leddy
Usage tip of the day
From Leddy’s Imaginary Dictionary of Usage (2016).
usage  words 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
Usage tip of the day
“I get that” is a feeble substitute for “I understand.”
usage 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
Sarcasm and irony
Sheridan Baker confirms it: “sarcasm” is “the student’s word for irony.”
irony  teaching  usage 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
Usage tip of the day
The entry for “nice”: from Leddy’s Imaginary Dictionary of Usage (2016).
usage  words 
october 2016 by M.Leddy
Fritzi’s whom
Today’s yesterday’s Nancy teaches us that there is no conflict between good usage and good cartooning.
comics  grammar  Nancy  usage 
september 2016 by M.Leddy
Dr. Watson’s prose, however
The stuffiness of “however” suits him.
BryanGarner  film  usage  words 
september 2016 by M.Leddy
NBC, sheesh
There is such a thing as a flat adverb — “an abverb that has the same form as its corresponding adjective” — but “flawless” isn’t one.
adverbs  usage 
august 2016 by M.Leddy
Peanuts and “none”
“Gramma says that none of her other grandchildren has a blanket.”
comics  grammar  usage 
august 2016 by M.Leddy
Everybody and his brother is or are
A reader (and writer) asked: “everybody and his brother is ,” or “everybody and his brother are ”?
grammar  usage 
august 2016 by M.Leddy
Compare with or to
Bryan Garner glosses “compare with” and “compare to .”
BryanGarner  usage 
july 2016 by M.Leddy
AHD on singular they
The American Heritage Dictionary has an updated its usage note for singular “they .”
dictionary  usage 
july 2016 by M.Leddy
Overheard
The Internets return only one result for “hungry on beer.”
overheard  usage 
june 2016 by M.Leddy
DFW on utilize
Three versions of a note for the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.
DavidFosterWallace  usage 
june 2016 by M.Leddy
A couple pints
“A couple pints” — no “of” — in the NY Times.
NewYorkTimes  usage 
june 2016 by M.Leddy
If and whether
From Sir Ernest Gowers.
usage  words 
june 2016 by M.Leddy
The New Yorker that and which
Mary Norris’s explanation of The New Yorker approach to that and which is likely, I think, to leave many viewers confused.
NewYorker  usage  words 
june 2016 by M.Leddy
More thusly
Is it really a word to avoid?
usage  words 
april 2016 by M.Leddy
Thusly
A word to avoid?
usage  words 
april 2016 by M.Leddy
Words, phrases, etymological cages
Sir Ernest Gowers, or a second- or third-generation reviser, writing about what has come to be called the etymological fallacy, the mistaken idea that a word’s present meaning must be related to that word’s etymology.
etymology  usage  words 
april 2016 by M.Leddy
Buzz-phrase generator
From The Complete Plain Words .
usage  words 
april 2016 by M.Leddy
Pocket notebook sighting, dig me?
In Ball of Fire (dir. Howard Hawks, 1941), a glorious piece of silliness.
film  grammar  notebooks  usage 
march 2016 by M.Leddy
Important-ly
Most important? Most importantly? Marry Norris v. Bryan Garner.
BryanGarner  usage 
march 2016 by M.Leddy
Recently updated
A 1795 source for the ill-considered prohibition on sentence-ending “it .”
grammar  usage  words 
january 2016 by M.Leddy
Scam diction
We received our first “Internal Revenue Service” phone call this morning. Is that because we’re reading The Pale King ?
diction  telephone  usage 
january 2016 by M.Leddy
One Word of the Year: singular they
The American Dialect Society has chosen singular they as its 2015 Word of the Year.
usage  words 
january 2016 by M.Leddy
Typewriter repairers
Not all those who repair are men.
typewriter  usage 
december 2015 by M.Leddy
WRONG?
By New York Times standards, clueing BORED with “disinterested” is WRONG.
crossword  NewYorkTimes  usage  words 
december 2015 by M.Leddy
None is, none are
Garner offers the clearest explanation I know of how to decide.
BryanGarner  grammar  usage 
october 2015 by M.Leddy
AP-Chicago feud
“At this time we have reason to believe the killings were gang-related and carried out by adherents of both the AP and Chicago styles, part of a vicious, bloody feud to establish control over the grammar and usage guidelines governing American English.”
grammar  humor  usage 
september 2015 by M.Leddy
On the news
“ . . . they’ll sell less iPhones.”
television  usage  words 
august 2015 by M.Leddy
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