Here is the lead sentence of a two-part article written by someone I generally respect. His material is thoroughly researched and clearly explained. However, I think he’s being a little too editorial here, pushing the boundary of meaning for effect rather than to convey information. At least he’s honest enough to describe in advance how he’s redefining the word.
I encounter so many myths and misunderstandings about rising sea level, in effect lies.
The article goes on to explain and correct some common misunderstandings. But to be a lie, a misstatement has to be deliberate and have the intent to deceive. Since he doesn’t name names, I don’t think he’s justified in calling them lies. I think most people who hold these incorrect positions are uninformed or misinformed, with no intention to deceive. In fact, that’s pretty much what he says as he redefines the word.
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In English (and other languages) we have pairs of words that go together. If you use one, you should use the other. Some pairs that come to mind are: either—or neither—nor both—and not only—but also on the one hand—on the other hand (some wags add “on the third hand”) Greek has one called the “men—de” […]
The comic Luann (here Luann Againn), by Greg Evans, has a character characterized by interest in physical appearance and lack of interest in things academic. Her loss. But she’s a good example of what not to do, so that’s a good thing, I guess. Does her mistake jump out at you? If you’re a regular […]
Because your grade-school English teacher corrected two mistakes at once. You’d say something like the first three words in this Jump Start comic by Robb Armstrong: The first “mistake” is putting yourself first when you mention yourself and someone else. Putting yourself first is perfectly grammatical; doing so isn’t humble, though. In our culture, we think […]
I checked this site’s history, and all I found that was about numbers was this post about writing numbers with letters. It includes some stuff about numerology, Greek, the number of the beast, and a party game. Go read it. But I appear not to have mentioned these more mumdane stylistic niceties about writing numbers: […]