Examples of ask as a noun can be found in Old English, and the OED includes a citation of its use as a card-playing term in 1886, but the uses illustrated in the reader’s question are fairly recent.
A reader asks for clarification regarding the use of the phrase “anyone and everyone” in such sentences as these: Everyone knows they love to talk on the phone to anyone and everyone.
I was familiar with props as a shortening of several different English words, but this usage left me bewildered.
NOTE: This post is for readers who, like me, have managed to remain ignorant of the expression “props to” until now. It is also for ESL learners who may not be familiar with other uses of prop.
Both words, tenant and tenet, derive from the Latin verb tenere, “to hold,” but they are not interchangeable.
Both words have more than one function in English, but a common challenge for ESL learners is how to use many and much with countable and uncountable nouns.
The following comment by a professional journalist set me wondering if I had the wrong idea about the meaning of the adjective consummate.
Two verbs that give many native speakers fits are to lay and to lie. I’ve written more than one post to explain how lay is transitive and lie is intransitive. If you require a review, please use the links at the end of this article.
Wording in an astrological meme I saw on Facebook prompted this post: People born under the sign of Cancer are very observing. They are very seducing and captivating.
The word below is used as a preposition and as an adverb, but never as an attributive adjective.
At least, that is what I believed until I received this email from a reader.
One post often leads to another. The recent article “Conventional Letter Salutations in English” garnered several questions about how to address a letter to a married couple who have different titles and/or different surnames.
The little word fit has multiple functions and occurs in numerous expressions.
In Middle English, the noun fit denoted an intense experience that could be painful, dangerous, or exciting.
In response to a recent post on idioms, a reader asked for a discussion of “the distinction between idioms and clichés.”
In the article referenced, I gave four definitions of the word idiom. Here is the definition closest to the word cliché.