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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Monday, March 16, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009 7:00:43 PM
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Last 10 Posts
What words have you heard recently, that you had never heard of before?
Monday, March 16, 2009 7:00:41 PM
Absquatulate. It came up in a crossword, and I had to go to the OED to find out what it meant. Now... let's see if I can remember correctly. It's an old americanism that isn't used much anymore but means to steal something and then run off with it. I recommend looking it up yourself. It's a great word.
Is "Pair" Plural or Singular?
Monday, March 16, 2009 6:58:03 PM
My gut reaction was that it was plural but since all of you thought singular, I decided to look it up.
From the The American Heritage® Book of English Usage:
The noun pair can be followed by a singular or plural verb. The singular is always used when pair refers to a set considered as a single entity: This pair of shoes is on sale. A plural verb is used when the members are considered as individuals: The pair are working more harmoniously now. After a number other than one, pair itself can be either singular or plural, but the plural is now more common: She bought six pairs (or pair) of stockings.
So MichalG, your answer is both!
Monday, March 16, 2009 6:53:27 PM
I can't stand when people use affect/effect improperly. I see it all the time in online and print news articles, which is so annoying! A hint that I tell people to help them remember which is which is that "affect" is an "action", and both start with "a", and an "effect" is an "end result", and both start with "e".
i stopped reading the boards to reply because this is the one that drives me so up a wall. I work in the not-for-profit world and can't tell you how many times, I've read published literature from an organization that gets this wrong. Unacceptable!
Have you ever wondered...
Monday, March 16, 2009 6:50:57 PM
I'll second that. And that's before you take into account all the ways that people colloqualize (I'm not sure that's even a word!) the English language. I've just moved to Australia and keep coming across words that make me do a double take. I've noticed that some Australians pluralize you to "yous" when they're talking to more than one person. It drives me crazy. I don't envy anyone who has to learn English as a second language!
Best books for building vocabulary?
Monday, March 16, 2009 6:45:16 PM
I'm currently reading Jose Saramago's, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. While I wouldn't necessarily say he uses a sophisticated vocabulary (although he does), it's more that he uses basic words in new and different ways. He tears apart the usual concepts of sentence and paragraph structure and leaves you with long flowing, stream of thought, discussions on the world around and within the main character. Definitely a worthwhile read.
Monday, March 16, 2009 6:38:02 PM
I've never heard of it before. And a quick google search revealed nothing. Where did you come across it? In a book? Or was someone using it in a conversation? I wonder if they've gotten it wrong.
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