Language Rules

Definately Fixing Alot Of Americas Grammar 1 Word At A Thyme

Archive for the ‘word choice’ Category

Visual vs. Visional

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What is the difference between the two?

I heard that visual refers to what they EYES see, as opposed to visional, which refers to what the MIND sees.  Is there any truth to this?

How can “visional” be used in a sentence?

Last question: Can both words be considered adjective forms of the noun “vision?”

Thank you! :)

Written by reeyah

2007 Jul 6 at 21:37

“Moot point,” not “mute point”

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I haven’t heard this myself, but my friend Celeste has and it’s so hilarious it deserves a blog entry.

Apparently Celeste has heard people say, “It’s a mute point.”

That’s “mute” pronounced “mee-yoot” as in remaining silent.

The correct term is “moot point” and the correct first word, its spelling, and pronunciation is “moot.” Like adding T to the end of what a cow would say.

And what is meant by “moot point”? A moot point is one that need not be decided, due to a change of circumstances. Very interesting, because the word “moot” by itself means “debatable, or subject to discussion,” the opposite of its use in the legal context. The shift in usage is slowly happening, starting here in the United States.

But what’s this about a “mute point”? As Celeste reports to me, some people say this thinking it means, “Let’s put the mute button on and cease any discussion on this.”

Wouldn’t it be funny if the term evolves this way to become correct? After all, with the ubiquity of remote controls and mute buttons, a “mute point” may make more sense than a “moot point” to someone who’s not a lawyer.

For today, however, it’s wrong. Say “moot point” and try not to stick a “y” sound in there.

Written by wellaontheweb

2006 Sep 25 at 02:52

testing, testing

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quizHere’s a nifty online quiz you can take to see how you stack up in the areas of grammar and word choice. It covers all the sorts of things that this blog talks about, and it makes crystal clear, yet again, the fact that English is a nightmare sort of language.

If you want to know how I did the quiz, you’ll have to go to the next page so I don’t give away any answers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by tiffanytaylor

2006 Sep 20 at 09:07

Posted in grammar, word choice

I could care less if you read this

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Your ex has just posted a way snarky comment about you on MySpace. “Hah!” you type madly on your profile, “I could care less!”

You could? If you could care less, then that means you do care, because you are capable of caring less than you do now. After reading your response, your ex is undoubtedly smiling in that self-satisfied way that you despise.

care lessIf, however, you fire off a comment proclaiming “Listen, loser, I couldn’t care less,” then you’ve expressed your true feelings. You are incapable of caring less. The matter means nothing to you; you don’t care about it at all. Let’s just see if the one-who-must-not-be-named cares about that.

Written by tiffanytaylor

2006 Sep 18 at 07:17

Posted in grammar, word choice

pour a cup of coffee, and pore over this post

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I received a glossy full-color advertisement in the mail a couple of days ago proclaiming something to the effect that “our researchers have poured over millions of pages to bring you this incredible find.”

Really? What did they pour over the pages? Maple syrup, maybe, or transmission fluid, or shampoo?

The researchers didn’t pour: They pored. But wait, you say. A pore is a little bitty hole in something, like the pores in your skin that pour out sweat when you play tennis. Surely the researchers weren’t poking holes in their books, so that can’t be right.

Yes, it is. The verb form of pore means “to scrutinize,” or “to read or study intently.” It’s always used with the word over. So:

“Pinky poured fuel oil and fertilizer into the giant bomb while the Brain pored over the final adjustments to the timing mechanism.”

“As Scarlett poured herself into her red dress and Rhett poured champagne, they silently pored over their very different visions of the future.”

Written by tiffanytaylor

2006 Sep 12 at 07:08