Monthly Archive: January 2017

Jan 29

Not the greatest of e’s

It puzzles me to hear the odd way people sometimes pronounce the word “processes.” They say “processees,” as if it were the name of a Greek hero, mighty Processes, friend of Hercules and Achilles, slayer of Parentheses and Apostrophes. There are, of course, words that come from Greek and do make their plurals with “ees” sounds, …

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Jan 22

Learn from others’ mistakes

It’s not difficult to find online examples of spelling, grammar and usage fails that have been run up the flagpole for mockery like somebody’s polka-dot underpants. To some, this seems mean; let’s face it, even the most verbally careful and precise of us has hastily, furiously or drunkenly dashed off a note or blog post that would …

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Jan 15

To learn how something works, take it apart

As an adolescent, I learned to diagram sentences. People that age rarely know what that means anymore. When you diagram a sentence, you create a kind of map of it, like a wiring diagram or a flow chart, that illustrates exactly how all the words in that sentence relate to each other and what roles …

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