There is or There are?

This isn’t something I’ve ever really wondered. For a native English speaker, which one to use is rarely in doubt. Sure some regional dialects might use is and are in non-standard ways, but if asked, most speakers of these dialects would know the “proper” form of the verb to be to use.

Which is why I was surprised to see the following headline on the BBC website: Continue reading

Hello Europe!

This evening I was at my parents’ house, watching a little TV after Sunday dinner. I don’t really watch much TV anymore, at least not in the conventional broadcast sense, apart from Sunday afternoons at home. Gaelic football matches are the usual background noise to Sunday-afternoon dinner, but we had it a bit later today, so I found myself watching an interesting nature programme.

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I had a most shocking experience recently. I’m fortunate to be a part of a lovely bloggers’ group, Blogs in Bloom. People share their blog posts, and social-media links, and everyone is invited to read, share, and comment.

Of course you let the people know that you’ve read, or liked, or shared their post, by commenting under their link. Something simple like Commented! or Read and liked! At first, anyway…

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Taking Things Literally

While writing yesterday, I was thinking about my tendency to think about language in general as I’m going about my daily life. Obviously this is something I do more often since beginning to work in the English-language teaching industry, but I realised that I’ve actually been doing it for a long time: just not in the same way.

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Who’s or Whose?

An easy one today: when should you use who’s and whose? This is pretty straightforward, and I think most mistakes people make with them are generally typos caused by the two sounding similar. But I do notice quite a lot of mistakes with these words in people’s writing. First, let’s look at some examples of both being used correctly:

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More Real or Realer?

The dirt on his hands, his stale clothes and declining hygiene, his fading interest in food and drink, all helped to expose a more real vision of himself. – J.G. Ballard, High Rise (1975).

I was struck by the above passage recently while reading the book, specifically the bolded part – more real. I asked myself: why isn’t it correct to say realer?

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