Should the English Language Be Regulated?

Should English be regulated? The average American student would probably answer “Yes.” English is notoriously difficult to speak and write correctly, in large part because nearly every rule has exceptions. For example, “tough” and “ruff” rhyme, but we spell them very differently. Why don’t we just standardize it all? Many languages, from French and SpanishContinue reading “Should the English Language Be Regulated?”

“Time Outs” or “Times Out”? A Classic Grammar Debate

If your sister has a husband, he is your brother-in-law. If two or more of your sisters have husbands, they are your brothers-in-law. This is an unusual example in English in which the adjective goes after the noun it modifies. We make the first word of the phrase plural since it is the noun. Similarly,Continue reading ““Time Outs” or “Times Out”? A Classic Grammar Debate”

Need a New Word? Ask a 5-Year-Old.

When my daughter was very young, she had no inhibitions about bending language to her will. She made up words when she found English lacking. Some of those words have become part of our family’s lexicon. Inventing English language words In particular, Katie knew that she was not to use “bad words” to express negativeContinue reading “Need a New Word? Ask a 5-Year-Old.”