Category Archives: language

Paul’s Podcast

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Christmas Wish List

One of the benefits of working at a university is the extended “holiday break.” Of course, the holiday break lines up with Christmas every single year, so I’m beginning to suspect that the university is actually on Christmas break but … Continue reading

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Try To or Try And

Although the phrase try and is commonly used, it is illogical, and the correct phrase is try to. Try needs the infinitive after it. (Remember, the infinitive is the to form of a verb, as in to read, to work, … Continue reading

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Continuous, Continual

Continuous means perpetual, uninterrupted, without a break. I ran continuously for 30 minutes means that I ran every second of every minute for 30 minutes. I did not stop for a water break or to catch my breath or to … Continue reading

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A lot, Alot, Allot

Alot is the incorrect spelling of the correct phrase a lot. Think of it this way: A lot is just like a little, only more. She plays a lot of tennis. He has a lot of extra time to finish … Continue reading

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Then and Than Grammar

Use than when making a comparison. My brother is older than I. She can do more than that. They would rather read the book than watch the movie. Use then when referring to the order of incidents, events, etc. It … Continue reading

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Blame it on Lewis Carroll

A reader requested the following explanation: “…Perhaps you can tell me what word is used when a part of one word is combined with part of another word to form a whole new word.” Well, the short answer would have … Continue reading

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No Exclusions!

I recently received a  flier in the mail from a department store whose goal it was to alert me to their latest sale offer. Their big news was that I could get 10 dollars off my sale or clearance purchases … Continue reading

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Verb Moods: Indicative, Imperative, Subjunctive. What Mood Are You In?

Verbs can have one of three moods: indicative, imperative, or subjunctive. The indicative mood only includes verbs in sentences that are either statements (declarative sentences) or questions (interrogative sentences). It is unfortunate that more people do not live their lives … Continue reading

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Past or Passed: When the Past Has Passed

Use past to refer to the time that came before now or to refer to beyond something in distance. His ten years of working for a corporation with a bad reputation is in the past (the time before now). Their … Continue reading

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