Beyond the Rhetoric


Posts Tagged ‘word choice’

Grammar 101: Hunger Pangs or Hunger Pains

October 20th, 2016

Here is another one of those situations involving words that don’t normally come up every day. And even when they do, they are much more commonly spoken than they are written, leading to a very common misinterpretation and spelling mistake. This is the case if you want to talk about a man’s grisly (not grizzly) […]

Grammar 101: Bemused and Amused

October 13th, 2016

It’s natural to assume that similar-looking words must be related in some way. Headphones, earphones and earbuds all serve fundamentally the same function. You’ll probably find happiness at the happiest place on Earth. And while terms like critique and criticism might be connected in some way, other pairs of words vary drastically in meaning. Bemused […]

Grammar 101: Bear or Bare with Me?

September 9th, 2016

You may have noticed that many of the most common grammatical mistakes involve homophones, or words that sound the same (or similar) but have different meanings. That’s why someone might say that they’re going to make due in the lightening storm when they should really be talking about how to make do in the lightning […]

Grammar 101: Lightning and Lightening

August 30th, 2016

When Muhammad Ali said that he “handcuffed lightning,” he was not referring to dying his hair blonde. He was referring to a fast flash of great electrical power that he was able to harness and tame for his own purposes, speaking symbolically of his boxing prowess. He did not handcuff “lightening.” It’s just one letter, […]

Grammar 101: Electric vs. Electronic

August 23rd, 2016

Why is it that we can ride around on electric bikes, but we play on an electronic drum set? Why can we shave with an electric razor, but we send messages through electronic mail? The difference between the two terms may sound rather inconsequential. It might feel rather arbitrary, but there is a clear distinction […]

Idiomatica: Runs Like Stink

August 19th, 2016

In the first ever edition of Idiomatica last month, we looked at the phrase “pardon my French” and how it came to be. No one ever said the English language made a lot of sense. Idioms like that demonstrate just how far modern usage has strayed from the more literal understanding. Perhaps another good example […]

Grammar 101: Critique and Criticism

July 19th, 2016

On the surface, the words “critique” and “criticism” sound like they are fundamentally the same. Someone is offering his or her opinion on something. That something could be a painting, a movie, a smartphone, a social event… just about anything. The person has evaluated this thing and he or she has something to say about […]

Grammar 101: Maybe vs. May Be

July 11th, 2016

Change one letter and you can completely alter the meaning of a word. We see this with “affect” and “effect.” And then you get more confusing situations like with “all right” and “alright,” but what if the only difference is the inclusion or omission of a space? Do you know when you should use “maybe” […]