Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book Sale! Also, the Latest Blog Post from Paul Brians + balogna/baloney

bologna/baloney
“Bologna” is the name of a city in Italy, pronounced “boh-LOAN-ya.” But although in English the sausage named after the city is spelled the same, it is pronounced “buh-LOAN-ee” and is often spelled “baloney.” Either spelling is acceptable for the sliced meat product.

Then there is the expression “a bunch of baloney.” “Baloney” in this case probably originated as a euphemism for “BS.” When it means “nonsense,” the standard spelling is “baloney.” People who write “bunch of bologna” are making a pun or are just being pretentious.



__________________________
Paul Brians’ most recent blog post talks about his appearance in The Huffington Post. Featured prominently in the Huffington Post piece are Mark Liberman and Ben Zimmer, both contributors to the William, James publication, Far from the Madding Gerund

That means it’s a good time to put that book and Paul Brians’ Common Errors in English Usage on sale through the end of the year. Each is just $15 with free domestic shipping (US).

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

We bid farewell to the podcast some time ago, but we discussed “balogna/baloney” in Episode 20: What’s on the Menu? (Part 1).

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Paul Brians Two Recent Blog Posts + raise/raze

raise/raze 
To raze a building is to demolish it so thoroughly that it looks like it’s been scraped right off the ground with a razor. To raise a building is just the opposite: to erect it from the ground up.


__________________________

Two recent blog posts by Paul Brians address “rails and walls” and an interesting fact about a suffix in two forms.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

We bid farewell to the podcast some time ago, but several episodes, starting with Episode 105: Government and Politics—More Than Just Words, covered the language of politics.

Monday, August 13, 2018

New Post: Paul Brians Discusses "Well and Good" + good/well

good/well
You do something well, but a thing is good. The exception is verbs of sensation in phrases such as “the pie smells good,” or “I feel good.” Despite the arguments of nitpickers, this is standard usage. Saying “the pie smells well” would imply that the pastry in question had a nose. Similarly, “I feel well” is also acceptable, especially when discussing health; but it is not the only correct usage.

 

__________________________

Recycling cartoons from the book is all well and good, but how about we all go read Paul Brians’ latest blog post.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

We bid farewell to the podcast some time ago, but you can still browse and listen to episodes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

New Post: Paul Brians Discusses Soup and Scones + vichyssoise

vichyssoise
Waiters in restaurants offering this potato-leek cream soup often mispronounce it “vish-ee-SWAH” in a mistaken attempt to sound authentically French. Setting aside the fact that this soup was invented in New York, French final consonants are not silent when they are followed by an E. The correct pronunciation is “vee-shee-SWAHZ.”

 

__________________________

A recent Paul Brians’ blog post looks at usage in a Seattle magazine.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

Podcast episodes that cover pronunciation:
Episode 68: Pronunciation (Part 1)
Episode 69: Pronunciation (Part 2)—This Time It's French

Friday, April 27, 2018

This Week: Paul Brians Addresses "Prick" + amature/amateur

amature/amateur
Most of the words we’ve borrowed from the French that have retained their “-eur” endings are pretty sophisticated, like “restaurateur” (notice, no N) and “auteur” (in film criticism), but “amateur” attracts amateurish spelling.




A recent Paul Brians’ blog post discusses the understandable reluctance to use "prick."


https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

Plans to continue the podcast as a monthly show have been scrapped, but we invite you to peruse the archives covering all the interesting topics we discussed over our two-year run.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

This Week: Paul Brians Goes On Record about "Tape" + tape, record

tape, record
As time goes on, we are less and less likely to record sound or video onto a physical electromagnetic tape. More and more often, such recordings are made onto computer hard drives or solid-state devices. Yet the word “tape” lives on to label the activity involved. We say we are going to tape an interview, tape a dance recital, or tape a new greeting for our voice mail, even when no tape is involved. The problem is that the word “record” is a little too unspecific to be substituted in all contexts for “tape,” so we fall back on this obsolete but handy word instead.

I’m not sure what can be done about this, but it bothers me. Now it can bother you too.
____________

 

A recent Paul Brians’ blog post discusses tape in the news.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

Plans to continue the podcast as a monthly show have been scrapped, but we invite you to peruse the archives covering all the interesting topics we discussed over our two-year run.

 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This Week: Paul Brians' Latest Blog Post + A Word about the Podcast + fulsome

fulsome
In modern usage, “fulsome” has two inconsistent meanings. To some people it means “offensive, overdone,” so “fulsome praise” to them would be disgustingly exaggerated praise.

To other people it means “abundant,” and for them “fulsome praise” is glowingly warm praise.

The first group tends to look down on the second group, and the second group tends to be baffled by the first. Best to just avoid the word altogether.



____________ 

Does Paul Brians’ latest blog post deserve praise, fulsome or otherwise? Read it and decide for yourself.

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

Plans to continue the podcast as a monthly show have been scrapped, but we invite you to peruse the archives covering all the interesting topics we discussed over our two-year run.