Beyond the Rhetoric

 
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘word choice’

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: Toe the Line or Tow the Line?

October 2nd, 2014

You may have heard the English idiom “to toe the line.” Oftentimes, it’s used in the context of work, where employees are told to “toe the company line.” The workers are being told to conform to the rules, principles and policies of the company, to do exactly as they are told and not to veer […]

Grammar 101: Nerve-Racking or Nerve-Wracking?

September 16th, 2014

English idioms don’t necessarily make a lot of logical sense. You can’t literally offer a salesperson an arm and a leg for the latest sports car. You’re not exactly “spilling the beans” when you “let the cat out of the bag” either. And these idioms get even more challenging when they are used verbally more […]

Grammar 101: On Plural Forms and Adding S to Everything

September 5th, 2014

When toddlers and children first start learning the English language, they have an intuitive sense for picking up on grammar rules. Without even knowing it, they pick up on the idea that adding -ed to the end of a verb makes it past tense. I climbed the tree. I played the piano. The problem is […]

Grammar 101: Wreak Havoc or Reek Havoc

July 18th, 2014

It’s very convenient that most modern devices will automatically check and even correct our spelling for us. However, this has also led to many people using the wrong word under the wrong context, because it’s not technically a spelling error. Havoc can be roughly defined as absolute disorder, disaster or destruction. If you cry havoc […]