Beyond the Rhetoric

 
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘word choice’

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” […]

Grammar 101: Deep-Seated or Deep-Seeded?

May 13th, 2016

Jeff harbored a deep-seated resentment against his father. The XYZ Foundation bases its decisions on a set of deep-seated beliefs. Carol’s deep-seated sense of loyalty convinced her to stay despite grossly unfavorable conditions. The phrasal adjective “deep-seated” is another one of those English idioms that can be a source of confusion, even among native speakers. […]

Grammar 101: Chomping at the Bit

May 6th, 2016

Idiomatic phrases like this demonstrate once again that English can be a terribly confusing language. Something that seems perfectly logical and correct could be seen as wrong. Are you champing at the bit to find out what’s right?

Grammar 101: A Former Vancouver Man

April 19th, 2016

As I was making my way through my news feeds the other day, I came across a headline that struck me as a little curious. It wasn’t the story itself as much as it was the wording of the article’s title. It told the tale of a “former Vancouver man” who was involved in some […]