Category Archives: usage

Restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clause (a comedian’s view)

Georg Muntingh in Norway wrote that my recent post about the comma and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses reminded him of something comedian Demetri Martin once said. According to Georg, Demetri told of a time that he was in a clothing … Continue reading

Posted in clear thinking, punctuation, sentence structure, usage | 2 Comments

Neither-nor: singular or plural verb?

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, in a sentence with more than one subject, the subject that’s closest to the verb determines the form of the verb: Neither Henry nor his sons have a Prius (sons is plural and … Continue reading

Posted in correlative conjunction, parts of speech, plural, singular, usage | 2 Comments

Copulative Verbs

What the heck are copulative verbs? Until last night, I didn’t have a clue. But thanks to The Copyeditor’s Handbook, by Amy Einsohn, I now know that copulative verbs are “verbs that express a state of being, rather than an … Continue reading

Posted in parts of speech, Uncategorized, usage | 7 Comments

Rovian Usage

In a May 25 interview on ABC’s “This Week,” former White House official Karl Rove made it clear that he has no intention of complying with the subpoena the House Judiciary Committee recently served on him. He said: The House … Continue reading

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Run-on Sentence

Writers who create long sentences risk losing track of what they’re doing. Here’s an example: When Simon turned twelve, Mason–who was now in his sixty-fourth year and beginning to suffer from palsey–began to teach the boy French, as much to … Continue reading

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Different to

Georg Muntingh, winner of the first syntax contest on this blog, alerted me that British English allows the following construction for comparisons: There are many British words which are different to American words. Different to looks odd to me! Georg … Continue reading

Posted in organization, usage | 2 Comments

Different From…Or is it Different Than?

According to the Chicago Manual Style, the preferred form is different from. Not: She will find the city a very different place than the village. But: She will find that the city is very different from the village. Cheers, Tara … Continue reading

Posted in usage | 2 Comments