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May 06, 2009

Today's Linguistic Pet Peeves

predominately: I've been seeing this one in newspapers! Folks, it's predominantly. Two different words: to predominate, which is a verb, and predominant, which is an adjective. You get the adverb by adding an "ly" to the adjective. I don't know how to make this one any clearer; it gets to the heart of the logic of parts of speech. "Predominately" makes no grammatical sense. That is all.

shrunk and sunk: used as past tense, as in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, or My heart sunk. (The correct setences are Honey, I shrank the kids. and My heart sank.) Shrunk and sunk are past participles. The past tense form of each word is shrank and sank. Shrink shrank shrunk. I shrink the kids every day. Yesterday, I shrank the kids. In the past, I have shrunk the kids, but that time is over. Why does this bother me so much? No idea.


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I bow in awe to one who can not only apply the rules correctly but, more to the point, articulate what they are. (I wouldn't have done any of the things to which you object, but I would only have been able to say "because they're WRONG")

I get a little thrill when I see bad grammar. I like seeing the language go "wrong" little by little until the wrong is suddenly right. I reckon it's how we got where we are from Beowolf or Shakespeare.

i'm an evil librarian at heart.

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