That or Who?

rogersgeorge on April 10th, 2017

A quickie reminder lesson today, mainly because I found someone (Bruce Tinsley) who did it right!

Here’s the rule: “That” refers to things, “who” refers to people. Read the motto on the side of the car.

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Double Negatives

rogersgeorge on April 8th, 2017

I think I found another false English construction promulgated by stuffy English teachers. Certainly you were taught this in English class: Don’t use two negatives in a sentence, because two negatives make a positive. I illustrate with a joke that you have no doubt heard: The English professor was in front of the classroom saying […]

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Nearly Dead?

rogersgeorge on April 6th, 2017

An opinion piece today. First the comic, Barkeater Lake for March 16, by Corey Pandolph: Okay, I can agree with the description of the English teacher. Teachers often seem to be underpaid and they tend to be so loyal to the cause that many of them overwork themselves, tenure notwithstanding, though I sometimes hear of tenured […]

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Ablaut

rogersgeorge on April 4th, 2017

Sing sang sung; bring brang oops. Okay, sing sang sung, ring rang rung. This pattern of changing the vowel to show tense is called ablaut in German. I’ve never heard a name for this in English—we call them strong verbs. Weak (also called regular) verbs add -ed and -en or -ed -ed to make the […]

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Half Right

rogersgeorge on April 2nd, 2017

The conversation in this Mr. Lowe comic illustrates two mistakes. Let’s take them one at a time. Here’s the comic: Some idioms for comparing things in English are”as good as” and “better than.”  That second one can be “less than” “more than” “colder than” and so on. Those compare two things. When you have more […]

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