January 2008 Most Popular Posts
Below you will find the most popular posts of this month. Check them out if you missed any.
- Give me an “A”: a vs. an: The indefinite articles a and an both mean the same thing. The definite article the refers to a particular thing (”Give me the ring! The wedding ring!”) while a and an refer to any item of a certain type (”Please hand me a nail, any nail.”) But when do you use a and when do you use an? You were probably taught in school that, preceding a vowel (”an apple”), you use an. Preceding a consonant, you use a.
- Continuous or Continual?: Many writers use continuous and continual as if they were exact synonyms, but my English teachers taught their students to distinguish between them.
- A Man is Not a Widow: Last night, not for the first time, I heard someone refer to a man as a “widow.” Not only did I hear this usage, I saw it headlined across a Powerpoint slide at the presentation I was attending.
- The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know: The Yiddish language is a wonderful source of rich expressions, especially terms of endearment (and of course, complaints and insults). This article is a follow up on Ten Yiddish Expressions You Should Know. Jewish scriptwriters introduced many Yiddish words into popular culture, which often changed the original meanings drastically. You might be surprised to learn how much Yiddish you already speak, but also, how many familiar words actually mean something different in real Yiddish.
- Celtic: /sel tik/ or /kel tik/?: What is the “correct” pronunciation of the word Celtic? Boston Celtic fans prefer the soft c sound, but Irish dancers tend to go with the hard c sound.
- The Generalist vs. The Specialist: One of the biggest problems facing modern day freelance writers is whether to spread out and write on a variety of subjects, or whether to specialise in markets they are able to “expert” in.
- Caesar, Kaiser, and Czar: To begin with, “Caesar” was a family name. Now, in various forms, it is a generic term for “ruler” or “emperor.”
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