At the End of the Day

A reader has asked me to “shed some light” on the expression “at the end of the day”: I know it means “after everything has been taken into consideration” and it is an integral part of our everyday vocabulary but some of my colleagues seem to find it inappropriate in its function. Could you please help me understand this better?

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Patron and Patronize

Someone in my Facebook feed posted this about an aging celebrity who has recently published a book: “Don’t buy her books and don’t patron her movies.”

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Eyeteeth

In this morning’s paper, I read the following in a guest column written by a recent college graduate: I [won’t] deny knowing people who skipped college and ended up with the sorts of careers most grads would cut their eyeteeth for.

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Freelance Writing Course – Autumn 2014

Twice a year we open the enrollment for our Freelance Writing Course. The course is a 6-week program aimed at people who want to get started making money freelance writing online. You’ll get in-depth lessons on everything you need to know, including the tools and trade and the resources you can use to make your life as a freelance writer easier.

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Confused Words #3: Lose, Loose, Loss

Written errors in the use of lose, loose, and loss are common. One error is to write the adjective loose (rhymes with moose) as if it were the verb lose (rhymes with booze).

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Allegedly

A reader who edits financial news has observed that some writers seem to be unaware of the specific connotation of allegedly and gives this example.

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Pronoun Review #1: Reflexive Pronouns

The English reflexive pronouns are called “reflexive” because they reflect or restate another noun or pronoun that has already been stated. (In the case of an imperative sentence, the pronoun You is understood: “[You] Watch yourself on the ice!”)

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Origin of OK

The word OK has found its way into just about every language on earth. Although it’s usually written in all capitals and pronounced as separate letters, OK is a word and not an acronym, although it began as one.

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Get Your Goat

Until a reader asked me about it, I hadn’t encountered the eggcorn “to get one’s goad.” The expression is “to get one’s goat” (not goad). The earliest documentation in the OED is dated 1910.

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Hypocorisma

When Dick Cheney said, “We’re in deep doo-doo,” he was expressing himself with hypocorisma. Hypocorisma is a type of euphemism derived from a Greek word meaning “pet name.”

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Borne By, Borne On, and Borne With

The English word bear has so many definitions and uses that it could provide fodder for several posts. This article is about the use of the past participle borne followed by a preposition.

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Preposition Mistakes #1: Accused and Excited

The use of prepositions is tricky, even for native speakers. Certain prepositions are used with certain words, while others are not. Here are four examples of nonstandard usage.

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