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This tag is associated with 86 posts

Note 332 – The posessive pronoun “theirs” has no apostrophe

If you see the word theirs with an apostrophe before the ‘s’, it is incorrect.  Theirs is a third person posessive pronoun used in place of their + noun, for example, if you say “the house is theirs” you could split theirs into their + noun which makes it “the house is their house“. Putting an apostrophe  … Continue reading

Note 330 – Do you write snuck or sneaked?

Snuck is not a word I tend to use, but I came across it yesterday when I was looking up something else. According to an article by Maeve Maddox, Daily Writing Tips.com, “the word snuck, as the simple past of sneak, is regarded with disdain by many speakers and writers”.  Sneaked is the correct past tense … Continue reading

Note 329 – The controversy about the word irregardless

When I saw the word irregardless written in The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, I was drawn to what it said beside it, which was “it should be regardless”. They explain that people have a desire to add in a prefix to make a word negative; however, by adding ‘ir-‘ … Continue reading

Note 320 – The phrase okey dokey

I wrote this phrase in an email the other day and wondered about its origin. Phrases.org.uk define this as an American phrase first seen in the late 20th century and is another way of saying ‘okay’; however they list other American meanings as ‘absurd, ridiculous or ‘to swindle or deceive’ (which personally I’ve never used). … Continue reading

Note 319 – Reciprocal Reading

I went to my daughters’ school this evening to learn about reciprocal reading and how I can help them with this technique. I wasn’t really sure what it was all about, but learnt quite a bit in half an hour. It’s basically a strategy that teachers use with their pupils help them to understand a … Continue reading

Note 308 – The phrase ‘chip on your shoulder’

Where does the phrase chip on your shoulder come from and what does it mean?  Wikipedia call it a metaphor that describes people who “nurse a grudge or grievance that readily provokes fury or disputation”. Cambridge Dictionaries online define the phrase as seeming “angry all the time because you think you have been treated unfairly or … Continue reading

Note 307 – The words harry and harried

I was watching a programme with the title ‘Just Harried’ (from the Charmed series) the other day and I was unsure of the meaning of harried. According to Merriam Webster.com the first known use of this word was in 1609 and it defines harried as “beset by problems: harassed”. The verb form is harry defined on Merriam-Webster … Continue reading

Note 305 – Lo and behold v Low and behold

The correct phrase is lo and behold; however, I felt it necessary to make a note about it today because I actually spelled it low and behold in my blog yesterday (all corrected now) and wanted to make sure I don’t make that mistake again!  After a bit of googling though, it appears that it’s a common error.  … Continue reading

Note 298 – The Trapezius Muscle

I thought it was about time that I understood what muscles are causing the frequent pain I am experiencing in my head, neck and back. The doctor has told me today that it is a fan-shaped muscle started at the back of the head, so I decided to do some research. Wikipedia explain that the … Continue reading

Note 296 – The words bifurcate, trifurcate and quadfurcate

A work colleague has kindly provided the idea for today’s post.  She came across the word bifurcate a couple of weeks ago which means to split one main body into two separate ones.  She then decided google trifurcate, with the logic that there must be a word that means splitting things up into something other than two parts.  She … Continue reading

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