Why punctuate?

  Why should anyone bother to use punctuation? It’s such a hassle. What difference does it make?  Well, compare the following:   “Come and eat people.”   “Come and eat, people.”   One little comma makes the difference between an invitation to cannibalism and a simple call to dinner.   Have you noticed that someone

To lay or not to lay… (or, remember the eggs!)

I can’t help it; “Lay Lady Lay” will always sound to me like someone talking to a chicken… …a rather fancy, well brought up chicken, perhaps, but still a chicken. That’s Bob Dylan being ungrammatical there with the chicken lady, and of course what I’m alluding to here is the whole “lie” versus “lay” debacle.

Double Braino

You will find errors in these posts, I’m sure, despite my best efforts. I’ve found some already and corrected them. One was a real doosey. I found that where I had intended to write “loses sight”, I had written “looses site.” Ouch!  Right there, staring at me: a double braino. (And here I am blogging

And now for something a little different…

A few days ago, my son introduced me to the word “philosoraptor.” It’s a neologism (a newly-coined word) that refers to a humorous, pseudo-philosophical bit of wordplay such as: “If pro is the opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?” (Sorry, I don’t know the origin of this example, though it’s unfortunately very

You can’t get away from grammar

Lest anyone conclude that I have a general contempt for grammar or grammarians, let me clarify. Every language has grammar and every speaker/writer uses it.  All the time.  You can’t get away from it. Grammar is just the structure of a language, as opposed to the words.  It’s a set of patterns you learned before