“Anymore” vs. “Any More”

I did a little searching for a good explanation of anymore vs. any more and found it at AUE. Essentially anymore is an adverb meaning “nowadays” or “any longer,” but any more can be an adverb + adjective or adjective + noun. The great (though clearly impossible) example from the Web site is “I don’t […]

Colon and Semicolon

Here are a couple of simple rules for using colons and semicolons. The colon is used primarily to set off a list or an explanation. A semicolon is used in place of a comma in lists when the items in the list already have commas and in place of a period when two sentences (usually […]

Adjective Order

Gili Bar-Hillel Semo asked me to explain the order of adjectives. I admit that I hadn’t ever thought of it before, but it makes sense that there’s a reason we say “big, blue marble” instead of “blue, big marble.” I found this great resource from the University of Victoria to show the order in a […]

“Onto” vs. “On To”

Keri Canada asked about on to versus onto. I have a rule of thumb with this. If on goes with the previous word, then they are two words (e.g., “Hold on to this”). If not, then one word is used (e.g., “Put this onto the table”). In a lot of instances, they are interchangeable, but […]

“Flammable,” “Inflammable,” “Enflammable”

Josie Beaudoin asked about flammable, inflammable, and enflammable. I went to a good source for such answers, Grammar Girl. She found the answer in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage. Inflammable was the original word, but in the ’20s, the National Fire Protection Agency worried about confusion and pushed flammable. In short, the first two mean […]

“Especially” vs. “Specially”

Ravi Bhatt wanted to know about using especially versus specially. There are a few schools of thought on this, which you can see by doing an Internet search for “especially vs. specially,” but it does appear most indicate one should use especially when talking about something noteworthy (“I did especially well on my test”) and […]

“Irregardless”

Irregardless is not a word. It’s regardless.

How Much Do You Care?

I’ve covered this before, but it bears repeating. The proper phrase is “I couldn’t care less.” If you say, “I could care less,” then you are indicating you care about the thing you’re talking about (you could care less about it than you do). If you want to let someone know that you don’t care […]

Talking about TVs

There’s a difference between a flat-screen TV and a flat-panel TV. Toward the end of the evolution of CRT TVs (the standard-def TVs most of us grew up with), came the flat screen, meaning the glass was not curved. Then came the flat-panel, LCD or plasma, HD TVs. They are slim and lightweight. Their screens […]

Coffeehouse vs. Coffee Shop

A coffeehouse serves coffee and related items and sometimes snack items of a bakery nature. A coffee shop serves all kinds of food and doesn’t usually have designer coffee. Starbucks is an example of a coffeehouse, and Denny’s is an example of a coffee shop.

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