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Tag Archive - grammar tips

What about Those Techy Terms?

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I would be remiss if I didn’t spend a moment going over hyphenation as it applies to technology-related words. This is an area of our vocabulary that grows right along with our expanding technological world. Language is always changing, but technology words present a special challenge to the writer. Mostly because many grammar guides that are written for the tech industry have rules that conflict with The Chicago Manual of Style.

Technological words are coined by folks who are more interested in technology than grammar. They are often programmers who are confined by requirements that demand the use of a single string of characters. That explains why these types of compound words begin their vocabulary life as closed terms and are most likely to be adopted that way for general use. Continue Reading…

Do You Speak to Each Other or One Another?

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Sometimes people are confused about when to use each other and one another. Well, there’s a good reason for the confusion. Even the people who make up the rules—the grammarians—don’t agree on this one.

So let’s start with the things they do agree on:

Each other and one another are pronouns (used in place of nouns). They are reciprocal pronouns. That means that both individuals experience the same thing; it’s a mutual relationship.

  • Bill and Sue love each other.
  • Unfortunately, their parents couldn’t stand each other.

Both the affection and the dislike go both ways. Use each other when talking about two people. Continue Reading…

Neglect, Ignore, or Disregard This at Your Peril!

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English grammar and spelling are confusing, but they pale in comparison to explaining the subtle differences and appropriate usage of some synonyms. For example, thrifty, frugal, and miserly could all be used to describe someone who is careful with their resources. I consider myself thrifty, even frugal when necessary; others may consider me miserly.

It’s often a matter of perspective and relativity when choosing which of several words to use when they carry a similar meaning.

Neglect, ignore, and disregard present a similar conundrum. They all include the concept of not paying attention to someone or something. Merriam-Webster includes “to leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness.” Neglect is failure to tend to someone or something for which you are responsible. Neglect takes place over a period of time and carries predictable consequences. Neglected neighborhoods fall prey to economic blight; neglected children fail to thrive physically as well as emotionally. On the one occasion I allowed a cat to become a house pet, my daughter neglected the litter box until I threatened to take the cat to the shelter. Continue Reading…

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