Category: Language

Is "youse guys" now singular too?

How about “ya’ll.” Should a someone who wants to be a gender neutral “they,” also be referred to as “youse guys?” And what are they (pl.) teaching in school about singular and plural conjugations? These  thoughts arose while I was reading “He, she or they: How companies are starting to address calls for a gender-neutral workplace,”... Read more »

In Berkley, they doesn't know grammar

“The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., voted this week to ban gender-specific words in the liberal city’s municipal code, clearing the way for the changes to become official,” reported Yahoo News. So “they” and “them” becomes singular which, of course requires a singular, not a plural, verb, something that the City Council may have overlooked.... Read more »

It's "farther," not "further"

It took me a while, also, to get the distinction correct between “farther” and “further.” And misuse of language doesn’t bother me as much as some purists. But the abuse of “further,” has been getting under my skin. I’m seeing it in books, newspapers, magazines, TV news, blogs and all over the place. It has... Read more »

It's official: AP style bible says "they" can be singular

The AP Stylebook, the style bible for many newspapers and other media, has turned the plural pronoun “they” into a third person singular pronoun when it’s convenient or as a gender neutral singular pronoun. In other words, sometimes a “he” or a “she” can be a “they.” Counterintuitive and less clear, that is. But I... Read more »

2016: The. Worst. Year. Ever? STFU

Is there anything that is more indicative of the self-absorption, egoism and narcissism that has enveloped this generation than the question: Is 2016 the worst year ever? Lord, the debate, pro and con, has taken over the Internet from where it has spawned even more debate in media that should know better. This tweet is typical:... Read more »

Robust Obama

Have you noticed that the favorite word of President Barack Obama and his administration has become “robust?” As in: The administration has robust procedures for reviewing political asylum seekers and will weed out the terrorists. A Google search for robust Obama turns up some 27 million hits. Some samples, randomly selected: President Obama is refusing to... Read more »

For lexophiles only

No, it’s not some kind of perversion that’ll get you on a life-long sex-offenders list. “Lexophile” is someone who loves to use words uniquely. e.g. “to write with a broken pencil is pointless. Someone recently sent me a list of 42 examples that were compiled without attribution. After a search, I’ve found that a lot... Read more »

16 'in' words that aren't so new

Arika Okrent, editor-at-large at came up with the list of words that are in current and popular use, but aren’t really new. We think our generation created them, but some have been around for centuries. They include: unfriend, dude, hang out, babe, funky, outasight and frigging.  Here’s the full list and their etymology. Order my new historical... Read more »
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