Grammar Friday

Today’s two grammar tips:

  • Famous and infamous do not mean the same thing. A famous person is widely known and worthy of praise, like Mother Teresa or Stan Musial. An infamous person is widely known but deplorable, like Adolf Hitler or John Wayne Gacy.
  • There seems to be some confusion setting in about the words weary, wary and leery. Weary means exhausted or worn out. Wary and leery both mean about the same thing – suspicious or watchful.

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Humor Thursday


Noise to Signal Cartoon

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Grammar Friday

Today’s two grammar tips:

  • When something comes together, does it jell, or does it gel? Here’s how Merriam-Webster Online defines the words:

Merriam-Webster Online:

jell: Date 1869. intransitive verb. 1. to come to the consistency of jelly; congeal , set 2. to take shape and achieve distinctness; become cohesive. transitive verb. to cause to jell

gel: Date 1917. intransitive verb. 1. to change into or take on the form of a gel; set 2. JELL 2 (which means, “Go look at the second definition of jell”).

These definitions are practically the same. Another dictionary, Webster’s New World, indicates that gel is a British usage. This isn’t black and white, but the answer seems to be that if you’re in the U.S., go with jell. In the UK, go with gel.

  • Make sure you know the difference between “accurate” and “precise.” You might say that you’re more than six feet tall, and you’d be accurate. To be precise, however, you should say that you’re 6’2″ tall.

Thanks for visiting. While you’re here, please look around the site. You can subscribe via e-mail or RSS feed. The tools to do so are at the top of the right-hand column. To share or retweet the entry, use the buttons below. You can follow me on Twitter: @peterfaur

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