#FixItFriday : Unthaw


Unthaw IS NOT A WORD.

Think about it. If thaw is to melt ice from the meat, to unthaw would mean to refreeze the meat. Every decent cook knows that once meat is thawed it is to be cooked, not refrozen uncooked — the certain path to freezer burn. Therefore to thaw then unthaw (not a real word) is to refreeze not to thaw (the only word).

Photo by stevendepolo

#FixItFriday : Ellipses


Ellipses is a three-dot placeholder for omitted text or ideas.

Ellipses … those three dots to the left.

Rule 1.  Three dots.  Always. Only. No more. No less.

Rule 2.  Insert a space before and after the ellipses.

Ellipses and a period, those four dots to the right ….

Rule 1.  Three dots. Always. Except at the end of a sentence.

Rule 2.  Insert a space between the last word and the ellipses.

Rule 3.  Do not insert a space between the ellipses and a period.

Easiest fix:  use the full quote, complete the thought, or itemize the list instead of using the ellipses as a placeholder.

Photo by webtreats

#FixItFriday : Semicolon


The winking eye emoticon in social media has more humble origins in grammar as a semicolon— a punctuation mark used to separate two statements which, in fact, can standalone as two separate sentences.

; = winking eye emoticon means I am flirting with you.

I am not flirting; I am just teaching grammar. = two related statements which can be punctuated as two sentences.

I am not flirting. I am just teaching grammar.  =  two related sentences which can be punctuated as a one statement.

And this is just wrong and rude:  I am not flirting; maybe you should just learn grammar.  =  Ah, no; but a comma could fix this.

 

Photo by One Way Stock

#FixItFriday : Quotation Marks


Let’s try this. Think of quotation marks to be the enveloping embrace of Big Mama at the family reunion — every person and punctuation is included within its open and closed arms.

Wrong:  Big Mama said, “Come give Big Mama some sugga”.

Why this is wrong: The sad little period is important to the sentence structure, yet it is left out of the embrace.

Right: Big Mama said, “Come give Big Mama some sugga.”

Why this is right: The little period is happily nestled within Big Mama’s embrace along with all the other little linguistic cousins.

Imagine, quotation marks hug the entire sentence or quote– punctuation and all!

Now you know there are exceptions. HIRE iWrite.Solutions to compose, edit, and laugh with you at these grammatical blunders.

Photo by thedimka

#FixItFriday : Commas


Oh comma, to use or not to use, that is the question.

Do not use a comma to join two complete sentences. A simple sentence has a subject, a verb, and an object. 

e.g., It was a perfect day, I went to the spa.

The problem:  It (subject) was (verb) a perfect day (object), I (subject) went (verb) to the spa (object).

The fix:  It was a perfect day. I went to the spa.

The exception: when two related sentences are joined by a conjunction, i.e., and, but, so, then, etc.

e.g., It was a perfect day so I went to the spa.

That works for simple sentence structures. However, when you dare to compose more complex sentences, commas prevent run on sentences and improve the message in the sentence by separating the phrases.

Wrong:  This is the first Friday I did not have to work so I am going to the spa because I love good massages and I always feel relaxed afterwards.

Right: This is the first Friday I did not have to work, so I am going to the spa because I love good massages, and I always feel relaxed afterwards.

 

#FixItFriday : Nauseous


Nauseous = adjective = descriptive word = ability to make one sick to one’s stomach

The roller coaster ride was nauseous.

The oozing rash is nauseous.

Nauseated = verb = action word = having been made sick to your stomach

I was nauseated after riding the roller coaster.

I was nauseated after treating the oozing rash I got at summer camp.

Use the right word and I promise to not correct you under my breath in the presence of mixed company.  My doing so may be nauseous and make you nauseated.

Photo by methTICALman

#FixItFriday : Irregardless


I cringe and break out in hives when I hear scholars of the highest echelon and chicks on the Metro comparably disparage the word regardless.

If regard is to give importance to, it is sufficient then to merely give less importance when appropriate. The redundancy of the prefix ir- is just that, superfluous redundancy. There is just no need to make something of less importance more less important.

Regardless.

 

#FixItFriday : Apostrophes


The Apostrophe is not invited to a Plurals party.

However, roll out the red carpet for the Apostrophe for the Possessives and Missing Letters gala.

Apostrophe = ownership = e.g., Dana’s car, Jamal’s class, Sharon’s plays

Apostrophe = missing letters between two word = e.g.,  can’t as in can not, isn’t as in is not, don’t as in do not, it’s as in it is

And then, there is the matter of apostrophes in names:

Last name apostrophes = don’t do it = plural = e.g., The Stewarts went to church. The Johnsons bought season tickets. The Mears sent the kids to summer camp.

Last name apostrophes = do it, after the plural comes the possessive = e.g., the Stewarts’ party, the Johnsons’ vacation, the Mears’ home

Lastly, years are plural, ergo the apostrophe is not invited, e.g., 1960s– no, not, and never 1960’s.

Photo by arripay

#MorphologyMonday : Syzygy


siz·i·jee

[siz-i-jee]
Attention Scrabble players, this is a real word that can be wrought with a Y a Z and two ?’s! Yippee! And even though one does not need to know the meaning of a word whilst racking up these 35 to 70 points (play the colored squares people!!!), such is provided below.

Fun Fact:

planet photoAmazingly, the only English word with three Ys also happens to describe a rare astronomical event involving three heavenly bodies. Asyzygy is the alignment of three celestial bodies in a straight line, commonly the Earth, the Sun and the Moon. [Source:Dictionary.com]

 

#FixItFriday : Conversate


Con-ver-sate

Actually the word doesn’t need fixing.

As does many neologisms, it has made its way into standard American dictionaries from the troves of the cultural jewel — the Urban dictionary. However, before you go using the word willy nilly all over the place, know that some find the word comparable to fake nails grazing down a dusty chalkboard. Like, when playing Scrabble with monolingual players.


Fun Facts [Courtesy of Dictionary.com]

Origin of conversate 1970-1975
Back formation from conversation 

Word story— 
The use of conversate has soared since 2000, mostly in speech and in written records of speech. The term is back formation from conversation, created by dropping the suffix -ion, and adding -e, to produce a verb form. 

Since it has essentially the same meaning as the more common and frequently used verb converse, the term conversate has been condemned in some circles as an unnecessary non word. And, because the term occurs mostly among Blacks and Latinos, some discussions have become heated and impassioned, turning the word into a badge (both positive and negative) of person’s class and education. 

Conversate reminds us that discussions about modern English must take into account the different types of English spoken in our diverse culture, rather than fixating on “correct” formal usage.

When
all is said and done, however, the term broadly remains nonstandard English.