9 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2020
    1. Lie: I felt sick, so I lay down.Here’s where it can get a bit tricky. The past tense of lie is lay, but not because there is any overlap between the two verbs. So when you say, “I lay down for a nap,” you’re actually using the verb lie, not lay, despite the way it sounds.
  2. May 2020
  3. Mar 2020
    1. This will of course depend on your perspective, but: beware Finnish and other highly inflected languages. As a grammar nerd, I actually love this stuff. But judging by my colleagues, you won’t.
  4. May 2019
    1. If we’re speaking of garden-variety errors, the most common error I’ve observed that manages to get past any number of sets of expert eyes and wind up printed in books is the use of “lead” where “led” is meant—that is, the past tense of the verb “to lead.”
    2. They mistake the apostrophe for a piece of punctuation when it is a spelling issue. 
    3. I still firmly believe that copy editors need only enough grammar to get them through the demands of their particular manuscripts; being a grammarian is entirely beside the point. Or to put it another way, grammar is part of what you do as a copy editor, but only a part. That said, it’s fun to know about the subjunctive, so I’ll concede that particular pleasure.

      Copyediting vs grammar knowledge. Or, and grammar knowledge.

  5. Feb 2019
    1. Chinese, says Bacon, is written "in Character� Real, which express neither letters nor words ... but things or notions;

      This notion of Chinese language is one that carries into the 20th century and has pretty far influence; Ernest Fenollosa's notes on Chinese characters and translations of Chinese poetry hugely influenced Ezra Pound and (by extension) 20th C poetry at large.

      In terms of this class, Chinese characters pose an interesting alternative to the subject-object grammar of English.

  6. Dec 2014
    1. his grammar feud

      Yeah, grammar marmism is rampant in our worlds. Some people mistake language for a machine when it is really a joshua tree or a redwood or some kind of fungus. The only disease that would kill language would be the evolution of telepathy and I don't think that would do it. To adapt Johnny Paycheck: take your rules Mr. Heller and shove 'em.