Friday, August 16, 2019

Summer Sale on Books Continues + New Blog Posts + beyond the pail/beyond the pale


beyond the pail/beyond the pale
A pale is originally a stake of the kind which might make up a palisade, or enclosure. The uncontrolled territory outside was then “beyond the pale.” The expression “beyond the pale” came to mean “bizarre, beyond proper limits”; but people who don’t understand the phrase often alter the last word to “pail.”

The area of Ireland called “the Pale” inside the Dublin region formerly controlled by the English is often said to have been the inspiration for this expression, but many authorities challenge that explanation.


Paul Brians’ latest blog posts are here:
When It Rains, It Pours
Politically Healthy Language

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Two books on sale through the end of August—just $12 for Common Errors in English Usage and $17 for Far from the Madding Gerund:

   https://wmjasco.com/william-james-co/55-far-from-the-madding-gerund-9781590280553.html 
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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/
We bid farewell to the podcast some time ago, but you may still listen to all the episodes you may have missed.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer Sale on Books + gauge/gouge

gauge/gouge
“Gauge” is an unusual spelling in English, and the word frequently gets misspelled. Your spelling-checker will catch “gague” (believe it!), but won’t catch “gouge,” which occurs more often than you might think. It’s pretty easy to find a “tire pressure gouge” for sale on the Web. If the word you want has an A sound in it, the spelling you want is “gauge.”


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Two books on sale through the end of August—just $12 for Common Errors in English Usage and $17 for Far from the Madding Gerund:

   https://wmjasco.com/william-james-co/55-far-from-the-madding-gerund-9781590280553.html 
 ________________________________

https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/
We bid farewell to the podcast some time ago, but you may still listen to all the episodes you may have missed.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Jew/Hebrew + New Blog Post by Paul Brians

Jew/Hebrew
These terms overlap but are often distinguished in usage. In the older portions of the Bible the descendants of Abraham and Sarah are referred to as “Hebrews.” Since the sixth century BCE Babylonian captivity and the return from exile, they have been known as “Jews,” a name derived from the dominant remaining tribe of Judah. Modern Jews are seldom referred to as “Hebrews” but the language spoken in the state of Israel today, based on ancient Hebrew, is “Modern Hebrew.” Although “Hebrew” has sometimes been used in a condescending or insulting manner to refer to modern Jews, it is not in itself an insulting term. However, it is normal when you have a choice to use “Jew” to refer both to people of the Jewish faith and to ethnic Jews, religious or not.

“Hewbrew” is a common misspelling of “Hebrew.” If you’re in the habit of ignoring names when they are flagged by your spelling checker, don’t ignore this one.



Paul Brians’ latest blog post discusses the language of anti-Semitism.
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https://commonerrorspodcast.wordpress.com/

We bid farewell to the podcast some time ago, but we covered this entry in Episode 50, “Commonly Confused Words, the PC Edition.”