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Archive for April 19th, 2009

beetle-browed. adj. having bushy eyebrows; frowning.

Is Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes tonight?

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Grammar Police Deputy Badge

Grammar Police Deputy Badge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Police (@GrammarCops) Deputy Badge awarded to @mattimago (Twitter).

Visit this deputy on: http://mattimago.com/

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If you like Grammar Police (@GrammarCops) – hey, that’s us – then you are sure to like this enforcement agency too: @MoviePolice on http://www.squidoo.com/moviepolice

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A reader writes:

“Do you have an entry about whether one should use “toward” or “towards,” “backward” or “backwards,” etc. I’m always confused when it comes to those words.”

So, we will address this now.

Quoting Fowler: “toward, towards, towardly. The adjectives … are in all senses are obsolescent, or at any rate archaic, but untoward is still current. Of the prepositions the ~s form (towards) is the prevailing one, and the other tends to become literary on the one hand and provincial on the other.”

Toward that end, we will head towards the use of “Back words”

Again, quoting Fowler: “backward(s). As an adverb either form may be used; as an adjective backward only.”

In conclusion, we must admit some possible backward thinking in this area, as Grammar Police shall not ticket for going backwards or backward in direction.

Source: Fowler, H.W.. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965, pp 47, 644

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Interesting question … I received this message from a fellow Twitterer:

Here’s one for your blog. Saw this tweet today.”Could care less about Susan Boyle. It’s cool that she can sing….but could still care less”

 

Mary James / Yelwrose

Great timing because I have been having a discussion recently with a friend about the use of “I could care less” vs. “I couldn’t care less.” We did a lot of research on this question in the past month … See: Daily Writing Tips: http://tinyurl.com/dapdxw, World Wide Words: http://tinyurl.com/dv5f5, and Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/cxfw5t, for starters …

Personally, we prefer the non-ambiguous version of this expression “I couldn’t care less!”

However, there are those who, on purpose, use the sarcastic slang version “I could care less!” to express their disinterest. We suggest that these users put themselves in peril of being relegated to a lower class of linguists.

Grammar Police would love to ticket those who choose the latter, however, this is one case in which we have chosen to place aside our personal preferences and prejudices and let these would-be violators loose. Actually, we could care less, but not much!

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