language

The word nerd rides again

Several times recently I’ve heard someone misuse the phrase “begs the question.” I’ve long known it does not mean to raise or pose a question that needs to be answered. But offhand I could not explain its proper use, so off to Google I… Read More ›

Throwing shade

It’s akin to the earth shifting beneath my feet, this constant change in the English language. It’s as though I built my editorial house on sand. Of course language evolves. It has to in order to accommodate new discoveries, new… Read More ›

When smart quotes aren’t

It’s a term that begs to be used: apostrophe catastrophe. And it has become so cliché that I won’t use it here. There are already dozens of articles and at least one blog titled “Apostrophe Catastrophe.” Most of the writers describe the misuse… Read More ›