Beyond the Rhetoric

 
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘grammar’

Grammar 101: Bouillon and Bullion

December 18th, 2014

If you are working on a bowl of noodle soup and you need some chicken stock, do you ask for a bouillon cube? Or is it a bullion cube? What about when you’re talking about buying some gold bullion… or maybe it’s gold bouillon. When spoken, it can be difficult to discern the difference between […]

Grammar 101: Lead and Led

December 9th, 2014

The English language can be confusing enough when you have two words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have entirely different meanings. Things get even more confusing when you have words that are spelled the same, but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, as well as being interconnected with other words […]

Grammar 101: On Revisionist Pronunciation

December 2nd, 2014

When two words have the same pronunciation and one is written far more often than the other, you might struggle with choosing the right one. Someone might use “segway” when they really mean to write “segue” instead. That can cause some confusion, to be sure, but what happens when someone decides to say an existing […]

Grammar 101: Newborn, Baby or Infant?

November 25th, 2014

Even when words have very similar definitions, they can carry wildly different connotations. Whether you refer to the “accused” or the “defendant” in a criminal court case could impact how someone interprets what you say. A house may be just a physical building, but you may have more emotional attachment to your home. And that […]

Grammar 101: Leech and Leach

November 17th, 2014

If you have a good-for-nothing acquaintance who is constantly mooching off of the people around him, if this person is always trying to extract resources from others, you might call this person a leech. Or is he a leach? Both leech and leach are pronounced exactly the same way, but just like site and cite, […]

Grammar 101: Nip It In The Bud or Butt?

October 30th, 2014

It’s time to explore another English idiom that many people often get wrong. Just as someone might refer to a “mother load” when they really mean to say “mother lode” instead, it is surprisingly common to hear people talking about nipping something in the “butt” when the correct idiom is to “nip it in the […]

Grammar 101: Extract or Exact Revenge?

October 20th, 2014

Perhaps you’ve heard the line in a Hollywood blockbuster involving a superhero and his quest for vengeance. Maybe you’ve heard it in the context of a video game or television show filled with explosive action and intense drama. When a character says that he will not rest until he exacts his revenge, what exactly does […]

Grammar 101: For All Intents and Purposes

October 9th, 2014

English can be confusing enough for someone who has grown up as a native speaker, never mind for someone who is trying to learn it as a second language. For every rule in English, there are innumerable exceptions. And then there is the never-ending list of English idioms that either don’t make logical sense or […]