I spent a little time in the classroom yesterday, correcting a test. One of the exercises required the students to finish the sentence Is the climate cold, or… with one of three options. One was …is it too hot? and another was …is it multicultural?
Obviously the correct answer was …is it too hot? But one student asked if …is it multicultural? could be right too. And of course it wasn’t, but then I thought: It also kind of is. Continue reading
We’ve all asked ourselves that at some point, I’m sure.
I’m happy to say I’m back from my little trip to Rome and Naples, and though I switched my brain off as much as possible, I couldn’t help seeing a little inspiration here and there.
Oh, you might say excitedly, he’s probably been thinking about the etymologies of some famous Roman emperor’s names, or about how we still use words related to the Roman Empire with reverance. I bet he’s done some research on the word pontiff after visiting the Vatican. Two such great cities are sure to provide anyone inclined to write on any subject with an abundance of ideas!
So anyway, the gloomy dong. Continue reading
I know this one! I hear you say. -ise is British English, and -ize is American English. That’s it, isn’t it?
Basically yes, but also no, not really. Continue reading
Isn’t it great to have a nice little space on the internet where you can avoid all the petty nastiness of current politics, especially all the horrid news that keeps coming from the White House? A place where you can forget about all that, and think about language, without hearing about Donald Trump and his cronies?
By the way, did you see what Melania Trump was wearing today?
Lying is bad. Except when you’re tired, and need to go to bed, in which case, it’s good. Continue reading
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
No, not at all.
Which is the correct answer?