Tag Archives: further vs farther

As Language Evolves, Should You Follow The Trends?

dictionary_new_wordsLanguage continually evolves. At this time of year in particular, we consider words that have emerged to describe new fields, new products or new phenomena.

The Oxford English Dictionary listed 1,346 new words as of September 2016. Yikes!

nws.merriam-webster.com has introduced new words and slang from 2016. Submitted by the public, some are clever and useful, others are simply silly, and some are grammatically unsound.
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Misused Words: Did I Just Say That?!

man grimacing

I commented recently to a writer/editor friend that I have long considered there’s the most misused word in the English language. She gave me a puzzled look, as if to disagree but lacking evidence.

I could fill this page — or maybe a book! — with examples. Consider this sampling from weather forecasters to legislators, from financial specialists to everyday people. Continue

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12 Headlines: Grammar Lessons To Remember

Rock concert scene for grammar bloopers postIt’s headline bloopers time again! This ruthless editor has been scanning online news sites in search of the good, the bad, the ugly and the confusing. I’ve not been disappointed. Here’s my favorite:

1) Kiss Former Member Hit By Drunken Gunfire
You want me to kiss whom? Continue

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From Crest to Ford: Bad Ad Grammar

Woman brushing teeth - should advertisors use proper grammar?Should ad agencies pay attention to grammar? If you hear something that grates on your ear, does that grating extend to the product?

Crest toothpaste is running an ad that features a young woman who used to think all toothpastes were, as she claims, “pretty much the same. But then my husband started getting better checkups than me.”

Than me? She no doubt is parroting what the ad agency’s script says, but does her statement follow guidelines of standard grammar?

Here’s how you can tell: Carry the sentence just two words further to add the implied comparison. Continue

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Author Messes With Grammar To Define Mood, Scene, Character

Man reading a book thinking about grammar maybeAuthors sometimes take license with grammar to create a mood, a scene or a character. I usually don’t object to storytelling that deviates from standard usage, as long as it serves a purpose. Songwriters do it all the time!

When I was invited to join a book club a few months ago, I welcomed the opportunity to expand my horizons by reading things I might not otherwise have chosen to explore. I just finished The Dog Stars, a tale about a handful of individuals who have survived a flu pandemic that appears to have wiped out much of civilization. One review described it as “a post-apocalyptic adventure.”

Peter Heller, an experienced writer who has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers Workshop in fiction and poetry, uses a writing style that suits the tale he tells. It mimics the sometimes random thoughts that float through all of our heads, ramblings that don’t require grammatically complete sentences or punctuation. Here’s an example: Continue

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Phone Might Need to Be Further/Farther Than Arm’s Length For Selfie

Selfie in front of Roman ColiseumI found this selfie suggestion in my favorite info-packed ezine. It arrives twice a week from Joan Stewart, whose business Publicity Hound provides nearly endless tips for people wanting to get media exposure for themselves and their business, their book, their speaking engagement — or any purpose or product.

In her Aug. 16 post, Joan shares photographer Dave Peterson’s “How to Take a Great Selfie.”  Continue

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