Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, more misconceptions about The Bible + first come, first serve/first come, first served



first come, first serve/first come, first served  
It might seem logical to put both verbs in the same form, as in “first come, first serve,” but actually the phrase means something like “the first to come will be the first to be served.” Early comers do not do the serving; they are served.

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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we conclude our discussion of passages and phrases from The Bible.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, more misconceptions about The Bible + gender

gender
When discussing males and females, feminists wanting to remove references to sexuality from contexts which don’t involve mating or reproduction revived an older meaning of “gender,” which had come to refer in modern times chiefly to language, as a synonym for “sex” in phrases such as “Our goal is to achieve gender equality.” Americans, always nervous about sex, eagerly embraced this usage, which is now standard. In some scholarly fields, “sex” is used to label biologically determined aspects of maleness and femaleness (reproduction, etc.) while “gender” refers to their socially determined aspects (behavior, attitudes, etc.); but in ordinary speech this distinction is not always maintained. It is disingenuous to pretend that people who use “gender” in the new senses are making an error, just as it is disingenuous to maintain that “Ms.” means “manuscript” (that’s “MS”). Nevertheless, I must admit I was startled to discover that the tag on my new trousers describes not only their size and color, but their “gender.”


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we continue our discussion of passages and phrases from The Bible.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, misconceptions about The Bible + factoid

factoid
The “-oid” ending in English is normally added to a word to indicate that an item is not the real thing. A humanoid is not quite human. Originally “factoid” was an ironic term indicating that the “fact” being offered was not actually factual. However, CNN and other sources took to treating the “-oid” as if it were a mere diminutive and using the term to mean “trivial but true fact.” As a result, the definition of “factoid” is hopelessly confused and it’s probably better to avoid using the term altogether.


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we discuss some history of The Bible and begin a conversation about some misunderstood passages therein.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, a history of American comics (Part 2) + between you and I/between you and me

between you and I/between you and me
“Between you and me” is preferred in standard English.
 

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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we continue our discussion on Paul’s great interest in comics and cover the early history of American comic strips.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, a history of American comics (Part 1) + hyphens & dashes

hyphens & dashes
Dashes are longer than hyphens, but since some browsers do not reliably interpret the code for dashes, they are usually rendered on the Web as they were on old-fashioned typewriters, as double hyphens (like this: --). Dashes tend to separate elements, and hyphens to link them. Few people would substitute a dash for a hyphen in an expression like “a quick-witted scoundrel,” but the opposite is common. In a sentence like “Astrud—unlike Inger—enjoyed vacations in Spain rather than England,” one often sees hyphens incorrectly substituted for dashes.

When you are typing for photocopying or direct printing, it is a good idea to learn how to type a true dash instead of the double hyphen. In old-fashioned styles, dashes (but never hyphens) are surrounded by spaces — like this. With modern computer output, which emulates professional printing, this makes little sense. Skip the spaces unless your editor or teacher insists on them.
There are actually two kinds of dashes. The most common is the “em dash” (theoretically the width of a letter M—but this is often not the case). To connect numbers, it is traditional to use an “en dash” which is somewhat shorter, but not as short as a hyphen: “cocktails 5–7 p.m.” All modern computers can produce en dashes, but few people know how to type them (try searching your program’s help menu). For most purposes you don’t have to worry about them, but if you are preparing material for print, you should learn how to use them.

In HTML code the code for an em dash is — and – is the code for an en dash.


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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast we talk about Paul’s great interest in comics and cover the early history of American comic strips.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, words commonly confused + hairbrained/harebrained

hairbrained/harebrained
Although “hairbrained” is common, the original word “harebrained” means “silly as a hare (rabbit)” and is preferred in writing.







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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast find out if Paul is reticent to try riding his unicycle in public, or if he is hesitant to do that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This Week: On the podcast, periods and bugs + Internet/intranet

Internet/intranet
“Internet” is the proper name of the network most people connect to, and the word needs to be capitalized. However “intranet,” a network confined to a smaller group, is a generic term that does not deserve capitalization. In advertising, we often read things like “unlimited Internet, $35.” It would be more accurate to refer in this sort of context to “Internet access.”




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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

This week on the podcast the topics are the disappearing (?) period and the word bug.