All things spelling, grammar, and word use

A lot of threads get hijacked for spelling, grammar, word use, and definitions. Let it all out here instead.
Man can mean a male or a female. As in a member of mankind, or a woman. The first definition of man is an individual human; no note on sex. Another definition is the individual who can fulfill or who has been chosen to fulfill one’s requirements, with the example <she’s your man>.

A female actor is an actor. Yes, actress is a word, but it’s redundant. An actor is a person who acts, not a male who acts. In my Webster’s Unabridged, in the section advising how to avoid sexism in your writing, it specifically says “instead of actress, use actor.”

Jive is slang or music. When things agree, they jibe.

It’s is it is and nothing else. It is not the possessive form of it. That never made sense to me until someone pointed out that we don’t use an apostrophe in the possessive form of any pronouns in English. Towels are his and hers, not hi’s and her’s.

On that note, who’s is who is and nothing else. The possessive of that word is whose.
Just a note: none of this is worth fighting over. Language, especially English is highly open to interpretation; if someone calls a horse a pickle you’d think they were clearly wrong, but what if you knew exactly what they meant? They communicated effectively through language. I don’t see how that’s anything but correct. Stricter personal interpretations are acceptable, of course. If you want to cut someone’s tongue out when they say pacific but mean specific, I sympathize. Just please don’t do it here :).

In English, the plural of ‘forum’ is not ‘fora’. It’s ‘forums’. It’s not Latin! (The plural of ‘drum’ is ‘drums’.)

If I imply some extra meaning, you are welcome to infer it.

I have sympathy for the confusion over he, his, she, her, it and it’s.
It’s unfortunate that the abbreviation is spelt the same way as the possessive.

Look up a word before you shoot your mouth off saying “that’s not what that word means.” A living language is constantly evolving. Words do often acquire other (sometimes divergent) meanings from the original. That’s just the way it is.

Similar to that, look up “idiom” before you spout some irrelevant drivel about a phrase “should be.” (“I could care less,” comes up a lot with this one. It simply means “I don’t care,” which can not be derived from it’s component words.)

“Drum” is a Germanic word, so it’s irrelevant here. I prefer “forums” myself, but “fora” is not wrong. With English words derived from Latin, there’s a continuum from those that almost always have the Latin plural (the plural of “genus” is “genera”, and I’ve never seen “genuses”) to those that should just have the English plural (the plural of “campus” is “campuses”, partly because the Latin plural is not “campa”). “Forum” is one of the words that is part way along this continuum.

Hehe, yes :D. Watching the grammar bullies and the path of destruction they carve around here can be quite funny sometimes. I have not seen “I could care less” on this board since someone ranted about that awhile back; it’s always “I couldn’t care less” now, which I’ve never heard anyone say in real life.

Another time someone said “baited breath” and got flamed and told that it was BATED! SHORT FOR ABATED! I actually saw someone shortly after that write 'bated breath. My eyes almost exploded and then I felt a lot of sympathy for the person, who was obviously just trying not to get scorched.

There’re a couple others like this I can’t think of at the moment but I’ll remember them and post later.

Did you do that on purpose? I actually had an exchange with someone who wouldn’t believe there was such a word as “cannot”. :eek:

This one annoys me. I’ve got nothing against the language evolving naturally, but this “correction” seemed to occur unnaturally and from the top down. IIRC, it was about 1987 (give or take two years either side). At one moment, “actress” was fine, and the next you were a sexist pig if you dared utter the word.

For mine, I prefer the gender-specific words; if you can add more information in the same number of syllables, why not?

Fight the good fight, Cisco, but it’s going to take a while.

I don’t think that ever happened here in the US. Not that I know of, at least. I never hear people use actor for a female, it’s always actress. I don’t mind gendered words in Spanish but we just don’t use them in English, so the few contrived exceptions (remember “comedienne”?) sound odd.

Well, the first thing was on purpose. But I realize that “cannot” is equally valid. The second thing is just bad proofreading.

I fond that “I could care less” can be the most devastating version, if used properly: “I could care less… but I don’t.” :slight_smile:

Maybe. The available history on it doesn’t seem to agree with the “proper” connotation.

The link also includes another sore spot among the grammar blue noses “begs the question.” Sorry, guys, but it does mean something in addition to its first recorded use.

Ever noticed that no one can say drink the Kool-Aid around here without someone pointing out that it was Flavor-Aid? So the saying is Kool-Aid and the stuff was Flavor-Aid. Which one should we say?

You could guess which one I say if I tell you I grew up in the south, where every soda is a Coke :).

I find it funny watching some on the dope twist their sentences around in stilted and awkward ways to avoid splitting infinitives or ending sentences with prepositions, as if a fist on a spring would boing out from their monitors to punch them in their faces if they fail to follow ridiculous prescriptivism that had nothing to do with English in the first place.

pant, pant

Interesting, for most of my childhood(born in '86) i always heard it as actor for male or female. It wasn’t until mid 90s that i first started hearing actress and it seemed really odd and artificial to me. It still does.

Me too. It should still be actress.

You too what? It reads like you just agreed and then disagreed with him in the same breath.

Being the one that “ranted” about this many moons ago, I shall do it again.

If someone says “I could care less”, then they do care a little.

If you say “I couldn’t care less” means you do not care at all.

Its irrefutable.

I stopped trying to eddikate posters over “it’s” instead of “its”, when the mods started doing it.

Fighting ignorance since 1973.

When did “I’m like…” or “I was like…” come to mean “I said”, “I thought”? I think I first noticed it *en masse *around 2000 when I was between jobs and watched a lot of daytime tv and happened to tune in to Rosie O’Dognell, who used it, like, a lot (which is, like, another matter).

You don’t get to tell people what they mean. People generally know what they mean, and if you know what they mean, too, then bing! Communication!