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applestar
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:lol: RBG, I could NOT resist :lol:
...throw vs. through.... :>
(I realize it was a typo and you'd fix it just as soon as you realized. :wink:)

I have to say, English being my 2nd language, the articles (a, an, the) and when to use them, as well as simply when to use the pluralizations - what a word! - gets me some times. :roll:

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lorax
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Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

If I may ask, AS, what's your first language?

And I completely agree - when I'm asked to explain English down here (it's my parallel first with French), I generally tell people it's not really a language, it's more like a pirate. We've stolen words from all other languages, as well as grammar, although the general structure is fundamentally Germanic / Scandinavian.

I was watching a movie in Norse the other day, and it surprised me how close the two languages are....

Also, for a bit of fun, try to read this one out loud...
[url=https://www.ic.unicamp.br/~stolfi/PUB/misc-misc/DearestCreature.html]Dearest Creature in Creation, Study English Pronunciation[/url] - it's a brain-twister of a poem.

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applestar
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Sent you a PM, Lorax, and thanks for the poem! That is GREAT!

I emailed it to my DD12 too.
She's lovin' her new iPod touch and, yesterday, showed me how she's using it to keep notes because she keeps losing her notebook papers of hand-written notes and lists of important facts. She said this way, she'd have a backup. She also showed me how, by accident, she figured out how to copy and paste. 8)

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Alan in Vermont
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Location: Northwest Vermont, Champlain Valley

On the subject of toasted oats,, here's one of my pet toasters.

Being of an age where spelling and grammar were a part of our education I really hate some of the common examples of ignorance in spoken/written communication.

A real biggie is when something "needs fixed" or "needs painted". I'm don't remember the rules of tense, or whatever grammar blunder covers that but I do know that it needs to be fixed.

Then there is the semi-literate individual who defends his/her lack of spelling/grammar/composition by the claim that, "What difference does it make, it's only the Internet?"

My own way of dealing with questions posed, in forums such as this, is that I don't care if, by replying, I could save you from a slow and painful death I will not do that as I refuse to decode your message.

Dixana
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This is very long, and I apologize, but I just could not help myself. I would have linked it since it has hilarious cat pictures in its original form, but it came from a private page.....

If these guidelines are helpful to you, please print this out and tape it to your monitor.


Irritable Grammar Cat challenges the premise that all cats are incapable of using proper grammar.

(Even LOLchat a.k.a. Catois has its own grammatical rules based on CORRECT English grammar. You have to know the rules to break them properly for the LULZ.)

GRAMMA--Your mother or father's maternal parent
GRAMMAR--Proper use of your native language
GRAMMER--Kelsey Grammer was an actor on "Cheers" and "Frasier".

YOUR--Possessive. Something you own. "Is that your book?"
YOURS--Note that this does not have an apostrophe. "No, that book is yours."
YOU'RE--Contraction. Shortened form of YOU ARE. "You're not into grammar?"
YORE--Time long past. "Back in the days of yore, King Arthur spoke with pond-dwelling watery tarts."

LOSER--Not a winner.
LOOSER--Less tight than before.
LUSER--Internet slang for someone who cannot properly use a computer.
LOSE--"Lose" is pronounced "looze." It means "to misplace," as in "I always lose my car keys," or "to be defeated," as in "We will lose the game without Bob."
LOOSE--"Loose" means "not tight" ("This shirt is too loose on me"), or "not confined" ("The ferret got loose when the door on his kennel broke").

BARE: Naked. "Please bare with me, we need more naked people for our streaking prank."
BEAR: Either a large, carnivorous furry mammal known to defecate in woods (if a noun) or a verb with a similar meaning as "endure." "I don't know how much longer I can bear this bear gnawing my face off."


Apostrophe Cat is never used to make plural Apostrophe Cats. Apostrophe Cat also deplores the use of "greengrocer's quotes" for emphasis.

ITS--Possessive. "The tree shed its leaves."
IT'S--Contraction. Shortened form of IT IS. "It's a shame about Ray."

See, the word "it" is not a noun. It's a pronoun! Pronouns never, ever, ever get an apostrophe to indicate possession. Think about it: You don't say "mi'ne" or "hi's", so you DO NOT say "your's" or "it's" or "her's" to indicate possession. If you get confused, take out the apostrophe in "it's" and put in the letter or letters the apostrophe is replacing, e.g., "it is." If the sentence makes no sense, don't use the apostrophe.

THERE--Location. "It's not here, it's there."
THEY'RE--Contraction. Shortened form of THEY ARE. "They're driving me crazy with the bad grammar."
THEIR--Possessive.
"Their inability to use simple words properly is annoying."

DIABEETUS Grammar Cat points out that your snarky comment is not nearly as clever if it is ungrammatical.

When to use LESS: When you can't precisely count the amount.
When to use FEWER: When you can. It should be "10 items or FEWER" at your grocery store.
"She has fewer demerits than I do." "He has less courage than she does."

When to use "I" or "Me":
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., "Bob and I enjoy reading books", then you use "I". If the sentence still makes sense after removing "Bob and", then you did it right. "Me enjoy reading books" is only right if you are Cookie Monster.
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., "Susan gave books to Bob and me," then you use "me." If the sentence still makes sense after removing "Bob and", then you did
it right. "Susan gave books to I" is incorrect.

When to use "We" or "Us":
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., "We teachers enjoy reading books", then you use "we". If the sentence still makes sense after removing "teachers", then you did it right. "Us enjoy reading books" is incorrect.
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., "Susan gave books to the teachers and us," then you use "us." If the sentence still makes sense after removing "the teachers and", then you did it right. "Susan gave books to we" is incorrect.

THEN: Then is used either as a time marker ("Back then we knew what was expected of us.") or with a sequence of events ("If you misuse these words, then you look unintelligent.")
THAN: Unlike then, than is not related to time. Than is used in comparative statements. "He is taller than I am."

AFFECT: Affect with an a means "to influence," as in, "The rain affected Amy's hairdo." Affect can also mean, roughly, "to act in a way that you don't feel," as in, "She affected an air of superiority."
EFFECT: Effect with an e has a lot of subtle meanings as a noun, but to me the meaning "a result" seems to be at the core of all the definitions. For example, you can say, "The effect was eye-popping," or "The sound effects were amazing," or "The rain had no effect on Amy's hairdo."

Generally speaking, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. When you affect something, you produce an effect on it. Even in the passive voice, something would be affected, not effected. (The exceptions to the rule: As a verb, effect means to execute, produce, or accomplish something; as a noun, affect is used primarily by psychologists to refer to feelings and desires as factors in thought or conduct.)

ACCEPT: Accept is a verb meaning to receive.
EXCEPT: Except is usually a preposition meaning excluding. "I will accept all the packages except that one." Except is also a verb meaning to exclude. "Please except that item from the list."

ALLUSION: An Allusion is an indirect reference. "Did you catch my allusion to Shakespeare?"
ILLUSION: An illusion is a misconception or false impression. "Mirrors give the room an illusion of depth."


On the Internet, no one knows you're a cat...especially if you are a Grammar Cat.

WHOM: Use whom when you are referring to the object of a sentence. For example, it is "Whom did you step on?" if you are trying to figure out that I had squished Squiggly the caterpillar. Similarly, it would be "Whom do I love?" because you are asking about the object -- the target of my love. I know, it's shocking, but the Rolling Stones were being grammatically incorrect when they belted out the song "Who Do You Love?"
THE WHO: A great band.
WHO: Two correct sentences are "Who loves you?" and "Who stepped on the caterpillar?" In both these cases the one you are asking about is the subject -- the one taking action, not the one being acted upon.

FARTHER: Use “fartherâ€
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

vermontkingdom
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Wow, what a useful post! I love this gardening site since it fills the soul as well as the mind. Many thanks Dixana.
"Good gardeners do not have green thumbs. They have brown knees, soiled hands and big hearts."

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Alan in Vermont
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Location: Northwest Vermont, Champlain Valley

Great post, Dix. Only problem is that those most likely to understand it are not the ones who really need it.

cynthia_h
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Marlingardener wrote:It is a chest of drawers, not "draws". Draws is a verb, and hopefully has nothing to do with chests.

Y'all is perfectly acceptable in certain parts of the country, especially Texas, to indicate one person. All y'all is the plural. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, you may want to skip using this.
1) "Draws" is an old rural euphemism for "drawers," a lady's...ah...underpants. The lady kept her draws in the dresser (or chest of drawers).

2) "All y'all"-- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I've been saying this to my friends, students, and other acquaintances in California for many years! When I was teaching, I'd say, "Y'all need to bring in your homework tomorrow, and all y'all had better bring your books!" Meaning that each and every one of those students needed to bring the math/history/English/German textbook to class--or else. (Two-way reward system: if everyone brought the book, everyone in the class earned bonus points. If any one student messed up, the bonus points were forfeit and the messer-upper lost points as well.)

How d'y'all feel about that?

Cynthia

Dixana
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I bet you were a great teacher. Making kids accountable to other kids....well it's just brilliance and should be done more often!!
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

The Helpful Gardener
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OK, you've all driven me to this... :wink:

I am a fan of the contraction "ain't". I find this to be a perfectly valid and usable word, but it is often abused and should only be used in the support of the word "I", as it is the contraction of "am not".

"I ain't putting up with this bad grammar." Correct.

"You ain'y saying your words right." Wrong on so many levels.

Despite the jarringly colloquial phonics, my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Smith allowed this one when used correctly as do I, but I am interested to hear the groupthink on this one.

HG
Scott Reil

Dixana
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Oh dear....I have no comment :hide:
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

rot
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Ain't as intensifier?

..
I once heard some wordsmith on the radio go on about how ain't can be used for emphasis in spite of the double negative such as: "Ain't no good."

It should be used sparingly and it's rule you need to know how to break. One could be going on just normal and just insert something like: "It just ain't happening." to make a particular point.

I'm not sure I'd limit it to 'am not' but I will try to keep that derivation in mind.

two cents
..

The Helpful Gardener
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Dix, Rot, thank you for your considerations... Dix it speaks well of you that when you had nothing nice to say, you said nothing. My granny would approve... :wink:

Rot, I must be true to Mrs. Smith; I conjure her image and voice constantly in matters of verbiage and vocabulary, and credit her with what command of the language I currently possess. She gave me my love of English, and my trust in her pronouncements must remain inviolate for my world to make sense. But I hear you...

Seems we all have our individual takes on the language...

HG
Scott Reil

toxcrusadr
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Ever heard the possessive form of All'a'yall's, as in "All'a'yalls's" ? Actually heard a trainer at a seminar use that. :shock: Not a grammar seminar, at least.

"Draws" is also used by Northeasterners when talking about furniture. Just listen to Norm Abrams on the Yankee Workshop. I don't know if they're spelling it that way or just pronouncing 'drawers' that way. You do 'draw' them open, in a way.

I'm always careful about branding regionalisms as wrong too quick. Once had an argument about 'vydock', and insisted to this person that it was 'viaduct'. Turns out vydock is in the dictionary, says 'see viaduct.' Had to eat my words on that one.

I've seen classified ads here in MO selling a 'chester drawers'. Oh, the humanity. No justification for that at all. :roll:
Tox

rot
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Viaduct?

..
Chico: Viaduct? Vy not a goose or a chicken?

Groucho: Forget about it. They're tearing it down next week and building a dam.
..

toxcrusadr
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Ay Caramba! 10,000 comedians out of work... :wink:
Tox

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