Sometime or Some Time?

No less a grammar curmudgeon than H. W. Fowler saw nothing wrong with spelling the adverbial expression “some time” as one word, or connecting the words with a hyphen: sometime, some-time. HOWEVER, Fowler pointed out that convenience favors spelling the adverbial expression as two words in order to keep a distinction between some time in […]

Don’t EVER Write “It’s”

Probably the most complained-against writing error in English is the mistake of writing of it’s for the possessive adjective its. Nothing turns a potential customer off more quickly than seeing it’s where its is called for. For example, I just received a request to publicize a new ebook site. I was on the brink of […]

“Whom” is Not for Everyone

Just when it seemed that the object pronoun forms whom and whomever were quietly disappearing from use in American English, they appear to be creeping back as mistaken subject forms. The pair who and whom corresponds to the pair he and him. The first word in each pair is a subject form, and the second […]

The Bible Belongs in the Classroom

The Bible is a world document. Several religions use it, or some version of it, but “the Bible” belongs to everyone, secularists as well as religionists.

It is not the place of the public school to inculcate religious belief or promote one Bible translation over another as a source of religious instruction. It is the place of the public school to teach children about the part that religious belief plays in human behavior.

Irregular Verbs Must Be Drilled

No question about it, language changes from generation to generation. When public expression is dominated by speakers and writers who have been instructed in standard forms of the language, linguistic change is gradual. In a society such as ours, in which public expression is now open to everyone, whether they are educated in a standard […]

Speaking Standard English is a Professional Choice

How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m no good at grammar.” Nonsense. For one thing, even those English speakers who made bad grades in English class have already mastered 90% of the grammar they’ll ever need to know. They learned it with whatever English dialect they grew up speaking at home. With a […]