Grammar: Useful Rhyme

Word of the Week, Writing

I can’t take any credit for this rhyme, but I find it useful for remembering the difference between nouns, pronouns, adjectives etc and I thought that you guys might find it useful as well:

Every name is called a NOUN,

As FIELD and FOUNTAIN, STREET and TOWN;

In place of noun, the PRONOUN stands,

As HE and SHE can clap their HANDS;

The ADJECTIVE describes a thing,

As MAGIC wand and BRIDAL ring;

The VERB means actions, something done –

TO READ, TO WRITE, TO JUMP, TO RUN;

How things are done, the ADVERBS tell,

As QUICKLY, SLOWLY, BADLY, WELL;

The PREPOSITION shows relation,

As IN street, or AT the station;

CONJUNCTIONS join in many ways,

Sentences, words OR phrase AND phrase;

The INTERJECTION cries out “Hark!”

I need an exclamation mark!

Through poetry, we learn each of these

Make up THE PARTS OF SPEECH.

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Grammar: One Word or Two?

Writing

Something that I touched on in my blog post about word that I commonly misspell, related to “all right” and “a lot” being two words. Since writing that post, I’ve come to realise that there are actually quite a few words that are similar, whereby getting it wrong creates the completely wrong mean or you’re just using a word that doesn’t actually exist. Here are a few of the one that trip me up, and how you should really be spelling them:

Alright / All right

The word “alright” does not exist, so just remember the phrase “It is either All Right or All Wrong” to remind you that it is either two words, or it’s wrong!

Alot / A lot

Again, the word “alot” doesn’t exist either, so it is always two words…try to remember that if you have a lot of something you can spread them out, so imagine that you’re spreading a lot of letter out! Yeah, that made sense in my head, but doesn’t sound quite so good now that I’ve typed it out, but hopefully you can grasp the point that I was at least trying to make!

Altogether / All together

Anyone / Any one

Everyday / Every day

Everyone / Every one

This time, both spellings are correct, depending on your overall meaning. However, for me, this is a confusing one, because both words have quite similar meanings, no matter how they are spelt, but the word that you use alters the way that you say it.

This is actually my second attempt at explaining this, because – as I’ve said – I do find it a little confusing, and I wanted to make it as easy as possible. The easiest way, I feel, to describe which word is correct, is to determine what you are trying to convey.

For example, if you are describing something as a collective, or as a whole then you only want one word – which makes sense. Nevertheless, if you are describing something that is a small part of the collective, then it is two words.

 Into / In To

I’ve noticed that “into” and “in to” have been catching me out a lot recently, and I have spent more time than I care to admit trying to decide which one is the correct usage for what I am writing.

The term “into” is the action of literally doing an action, for example: “I’m going to dive into the ocean”, whilst “in to” is more a description of what you are going to do, for example: “When I reach the ocean, I go in to a dive.”

Always / All Ways

Always is similar to “into” and “in to”, but I think this rhyme helps to remember which spelling you want:

I always get lost at the Shopping Centre

All ways lead to the Shopping Centre

Okay, so all ways probably don’t lead to the Shopping Centre, but hopefully it helps to figure it out 😉

 

Confusing Nouns and Verbs

Word of the Week, Writing

Following on from yesterday’s blog post about the words that I commonly misspell (Ha! Got it right first time!), I  decided to share another issue that a lot of us have, and that is knowing when certain words have an “s” in them, and when they have a “c” in them.

For example:

  • Advice / Advise
  • Prophecy / Prophesy
  • Licence / License
  • Practice / Practise
  • Device / Devise

The word that catches me out the most is definitely practice/practise, and I know that the two words have different meanings but I can just never remember.

The Secret

The secret to figuring out whether each word has a “c” or an “s” is to look at the meaning of the word that you’re trying to write. For example:

The definition of “Advice” is:

an opinion that someone offers you about what you should do or how you should act in a particularsituation

As the word is described as an “opinion”, this makes the word a “thing”, or something that is being named, therefore this is a Noun.

On the other hand the definition of the word “advise” is:

to give someone advice

Therefore, the act of actually giving advice, making the word a “verb” – or a doing word.

As another example, the word practice would be used to describe the physical or metaphorical building, making it a Noun, whilst practise would be used to describe the action of what is practised within the practice.

Layman’s Terms

  1. If it is a Noun, it is a word that is naming something specific
  2. This means that you spell it with a “c”
  3. If it is a Verb, it is a word that is describing the action of the Noun
  4. This means that you spell it with an “s”

Remember: Nouns Name, and Verbs Describe an Action.

 

Words that I Commonly Misspell

Word of the Week, Writing

As writers, there is this idea lodged into our brains that we have to be perfect at spelling and grammar, but I will be the first to admit that there are a few words that catch me out, every single time. I would – quite literally – be lost without my Dictionary. The most annoying thing is that these are words that I should know, because I have probably written them a million times before, and I know that I should know better.

Nevertheless, here are the words that I commonly misspell:

Misspell:

It seems so ironic to start with a word taken from this blog posts title, but it’s true. My brain gets confused by the s’s and I automatically want to write “mispell”!

Accidentally:

For me, “accidentally” is a victim of localised speech, whereby I spell it the way that I say it (kind of like how “could have” has become “could of” to a lot of people on Facebook!). So, because I don’t pronounce the “tally”, but rather pronounce it more “tly”, that is how I spell it.

Other words that fit into this category include: allege (I want to put a “d” in between the “e” and “g” because it sounds like there is one in there when the word is said out loud!)

Liaison:

Silent letters are the little devils of the English language, hence the second “i” is often missing!

Rhyme and Rhythm:

Those darn silent letters are out to get me. Now, when it comes to “rhyme” and “rhythm”, I always know that there is an “h” and a “y” in there, but I just cannot remember which way around they go!

Accommodate and Accumulate:

Ironically, when I wrote the word “accommodate” down in my book of misspelled words, I managed to miss out one of the “m”‘s. Anyway, I’m putting this two words together, purely because they are the opposite of each other, but create the same problem: is there one “m” or two?

Necessary:

I know that there are both “c” and “s” in this word, and I know that there is one of one of them, and two of the other. However, I can never remember which way around.

The same happens with “harass” 0r is it “harrass”, as I wrote in my book – again with the irony!

All Right and A Lot:

Two words. These are two words, not one. I must remember that! Also applies to “after all”.

Broccoli:

Brocoli? Broccolli? Brocolli? Yep, another case of how many “c” and how many “l”! Also see “Caribbean”, how many “r” and “b”? And “parallel”, I just have “l” all over the place!

Separate:

In my head, this should be spelled “seperate”…maybe I should start my own dictionary. This also works for “desperate”, except this time it is an “e” whilst I always want to write an “a”.

Humorous:

Funnily enough, this is a word that I do indeed find quite “humorous”. As an English gal, it’s easy to want to add that all-important “u”, that Americanisation likes to remove, such as in the word “colour” or even (of course) “humour”, which is where things – for me, at least – get a bit confusing. Whilst “humour” does indeed have a “u” in British English, the word “humorous” does not. Explain that one to me!

Consensus:

Kind of similar to the word “humorous”, I want to spell it as “concensus”, purely because of the word “census”! Sometimes the English language really does prove to be quite inconsistent with spelling!

Coincidentally, my dictionary just had a mild heart attack spell-checking this blog post, and I can imagine it screaming something along the line of: **So many errors. Must correct them. Mean blogger will not let me. Will self-destruct instead**

What words trip you up every time?

Do you have methods to remind you about particular spellings?

Word of the Week: Nous

Writing

Word of the Week NousNous is a word that I’m not really familiar with, but I randomly picked it from the dictionary, and as a lover of words I’m always keen to learn new ones, so I’m intrigued to discover what the word means, and a little about its history.

It is a slang word that means “intelligence” or “common sense”, so it’s already a word that I feel I could be quite fond of, because there are many people in the world who lack nous!

The word came into the English language via philosophy in the 1670s, travelling from Greek.

Although not pronounced the same, the spelling of the word Nous also exists in French, translating to English as “us”, with the common term Entre Nous meaning “between ourselves”.

Word of the Week: Myth

Uncategorized

Word of the Week Myth

When I think of this week’s Word of the Week: Myth, I instantly think of the story of Robin Hood, which is perhaps one of the most well-loved English myths.

The funny thing about myths is that quite often there is an element of truth behind them, but all-in-all, they are typically fictional. However, what does the word actually mean?

The Oxford English Dictionary describes a myth as:

  1. A traditional story of early history or explaining a natural event

  2. A widely held but false belief

Originally deriving from the Ancient Greek word “Mythos”, meaning “speech, thought, story, anything delivered by word of mouth”. From the Greek, came the Modern Latin word “Mythus”. It is not known when either the Greek or the Modern Latin words first appeared. However, it is known that the English word that we use today originates in around 1830, but its first definite date in etymology is 1818 with the French word “Mythe”. The English evidently removed the “e” and the meaning remains fairly unchanged, throughout history.

Jargon Busting Business Part Four

Jargon

Ooh look, another Jargon Busting post for you 🙂 I really hope that these are helpful in some way to my amazing readers:

FAO – For Attention Of

FYI – For Your Information

ALAP – As Late As Possible

FY – Fiscal Year

R&D – Research and Development

GO – General Office

WE – Week Ending

SME – Small to Medium Enterprise

ROI – Return on Investment or Republic of Ireland

Bring to the table – Typically refers to what a business or individual offers during negotiations

Dialogue – A discussion between two parties

Monetise – Make money out of a blog or website, typically in the form of advertising

Msg – Message

Read Part One of my Jargon Busting Guide.

Read Part Two of my Jargon Busting Guide.

Read Part Three of my Jargon Busting Guide.

 

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