Twerking and Jorts: On Palaver, and the New Words Created Every 98 Minutes

A Frank Angle

I once wondered about the Word Count on these pages. Unfortunately, that cumulative statistic is not on our dashboard, and given the previous 1,335 posts, I loath going through each individual post to determine the sum. There’s also the question of how many different words I’ve used here, but at I’m confident in the fact that this sentence doesn’t contain any new ones.

The Global Language Monitor (GLM) estimated the number of English language words to be 1,019,729.6. Even though that six-tenths of a words bothers me, there is no need to worry because the entire number is obsolete because the same organization states a new word is create every 98 minutes. Because the GLM issued the figure for January 1, 2012, the current count at the time of this post is 1,030,264, but that number is also obsolete depending on the time you read this gibberish.

Being that Google…

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You — Yes, You! — Stop Abusing the Oxford Comma!

Squirrel Thoughts

Oxford comma-nistas around the world are having a heyday over a recent push alert sent by Sky News, which they believe is the end-all, be-all argument in favor of their precious punctuation mark.

Comma

Now, let’s be clear: The Oxford comma is necessary in this “sentence” as it’s written. Obviously, there are some pretty serious implications without it. However, this whole “sentence,” if you can even call it that, could be rewritten for clarity, and we would not have been subjected to all this nonsense in the first place. The Oxford comma-nistas would never suggest that though!

See, the purpose of a comma when used in a list is to replace the word “and.” When you use an Oxford comma in a list of three or more items, it’s redundant. You’re essentially writing “and and.” And that’s just silly.

Let me spell it out for you using another famed Oxford comma-nista example:…

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Unbecoming a Writer

InkBlots and IceBergs

There was a time, not too long ago, when I couldn’t have imagined calling myself a writer—and by “writer,” I mean the kind that gets paid to do work that’s actually published in print and credited through a byline. During that time, I did write, but I only wrote either for personal reasons (in a private journal or this blog), or for the ghostwriting assignments I took as a freelance web content writer.

During that time, I was but a girl who wrote and loved writing, but nothing more than that. And I was quite happy with how things were—I loved my craft, and it loved me back.

 

Image

 

And then the unthinkable happened.

The opportunity came for me to get published in this month’s issue of a national teen girls magazine, the glossy kind I liked to feel with my fingers, the smell of which I was addicted…

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‘Because’ Has Become a Preposition, Because Grammar

Sentence first

If the title of this post made perfect sense to you, then you’re way ahead of me. But just in case, we’d best recap. Neal Whitman wrote a good article at Grammar Girl recently on the possible origins of because as a standalone preposition. This helpful passage from Whitman sets out the context:

In Standard English, the word “because” can be used two ways. One of them is to introduce a clause, as in “Aardvark was late because he was waiting for the repairman to show up.” Used this way, “because” is a subordinating conjunction. The other is to team up with “of” to form what’s called a compound preposition. For example, “Aardvark was late because of heavy traffic.” In the past three or four years, though, a new usage for “because” has been developing.

The new usage – older than 3–4 years, mind – is what Laura Bailey and

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