Tag Archives: grammar error

Can’t Hardly or Can Hardly: I Can Hardly Stand It

In Shakespeare’s time, double negatives such as can’t hardly were common, but in current standard usage (and by current, I don’t mean that I just made it up this week!), double negatives are substandard grammar. Hardly means scarcely or barely, … Continue reading

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Bad or Badly: Instead of Feeling Badly, Just Feel Bad

Bad is an adjective that is used with linking verbs (verbs of being, such as be, become, seem, feel, taste, look, smell). Don’t feel bad about slamming my hand in the car door; it happens all the time. I feel … Continue reading

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Bring, Brang, Brung, Brought

Bring is an irregluar verb, that is, a verb that has its own particular conjugations rather than following the same pattern followed by other verbs. That irregular pattern might not seem logical to us, or we might not like the … Continue reading

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Bring versus Take

Bring and take are easily confused because their meanings are so similar, but the difference is in the perspective. Bring is done toward you, the speaker, as in the song Bring Me Some Water. Anything transported to you is brought … Continue reading

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Is It Dragged or Drug? Look What the Cat Dragged In

I was horrified to see that an online dictionary is now even mentioning the word drug as a non-standard past tense conjugation of the word drag instead of what it is, which is substandard. I haven’t checked to see whether … Continue reading

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Dived or Dove: Let’s Dive Right In

Ok, here’s the deal. Dive is a regular verb, and a regular verb makes its past tense form by adding –ed to the end (or just –d if there’s already an –e at the end of the word). The past … Continue reading

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Cancel One L

Remember that spelling rule you learned in elementary school about doubling the final consonant before adding -ed or -ing to a verb? Well, if you were listening carefully, then you know that there was a little more to the story … Continue reading

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Oh Brother, Can’t We Just Use the @!&* Telephone?

The other day, I heard a certain Alaska governor use the word telephonically to describe making a telephone call. She said that she “was scheduled to participate telephonically in a meeting ….”  Spending $150,000 on clothing for her campaign and … Continue reading

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Don’t Get Disorientated Over This One

Last week, a reader asked that I talk about the words orient and orientate and their, ummmm, evolution, so here we go. According to Webster’s dictionary, orient first appeared in 1727 and meant to cause to face and turn to … Continue reading

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Meantime, the Controversy Rages

Fine,  it’s not a major controversy, but I figured I would need a sensationalistic headline in order to get any but the most grammar- and language-obsessed among us to read about the proper use of meantime and meanwhile. It’s not … Continue reading

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