Portmanteau Words

rogersgeorge on May 22nd, 2017

Seems to me I mentioned these guys recently, but I’m too lazy to do a big search for my post about them (I think it was a post about buzzwords). Besides, this Dagwood oops Blondie comic is a good example of these words.

A portmanteau is an old kind of suitcase, usually made of leather, and usually with some kind of straps. You put unrelated things inside, hence the analogy with portmanteau words, parts of unrelated words put together into one word.

Blondie - 05/16/2017

“Ever-popular” is just a plain old compound adjective.

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Enormity

rogersgeorge on May 20th, 2017

I mentioned enormity a while back, as a word that most people get wrong. Here’s someone who gets it correct! In case you didn’t see that earlier post, “enormity” means extremely bad, not extremely big. And here’s a more serious example of getting enormity right. It’s from This Day in History for May 11. Still, many […]

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Watch your Person

rogersgeorge on May 18th, 2017

You see this mainly in informal English, especially spoken, but if you don’t want to cause that little jolt to your reader that comes from sloppy writing, don’t mix persons. That is, don’t start with something like “me” and end up with something like “you.” (Emphasis mine:) This pair got an especially hard laff this […]

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Tesla Gets Comprise Right

rogersgeorge on May 16th, 2017

This is part of a strip about Nikola Tesla, quoting part of his autobiography. Follow the link to see the whole thing. Yes, I have a thing about getting “comprise” right (see the text at the bottom of the picture), but I recommend Zen Pencils anyhow because it’s a good, often inspirational comic. Go poke around the […]

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Gender-Neutral Pronouns

rogersgeorge on May 14th, 2017

Really concise today… https://comicskingdom.com/mallard-fillmore/2017-04-29  Bruce Tinsley My solution is to avoid pronouns. Pronouns are an easy source of accidental ambiguity. The singular “they” goes back to Milton or Chaucer, so the duck can’t really object to the usage. We have no gender neutral singular pronouns in English–you can’t have a group of a singular, but […]

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