Grammar Guerilla: Conversations, Discussions, And Arguments


For the better part of the last decade I have been hearing and reading the expression, “I do not like that conversation” or “I do not like that discussion.” If, in this context, the nouns discussion and conversation mean “the exchange of . . . Continue reading →

Grammar Guerilla: Kirk Douglas On “Feel Bad” v “Feel Badly” And More Feelings


Thanks to H. H. Fowler’s reincarnation on Twitter for this very clear explanation of the distinction between an adverb and an adjective: Kirk Douglas is right. Badly is an adverb. To “feel badly” means that one’s sense perception is damaged. To “feel . . . Continue reading →

Grammar Guerilla: Begging Versus Raising The Question


Almost without fail today, whether on a media news program, in print, or in causal discussion, when one hears or reads the phrase “begs the question” (or some variant) it is used to mean, raises the question. On its face this might seem an odd thing since raises is hardly an obscure or antiquated verb. Continue reading →

Grammar Guerrilla: Me, Him, Idiocracy, And The Matrix

To anticipate an objection: yes, language evolves but language also has a fixed core. There is a connection between language and the nature of things. There is a distinction in nature between the subject and the object. The languages with which I . . . Continue reading →

Grammar Guerrilla: Proud, Prideful; Converse, Conversate


HB reader Barbara asks, “Is conversate a word? I am a nurse and see other nurses using it in their progress notes. Example: ‘The resident was seen conversating with her room mate.’ Thanks Barbara. That is a good question. In English verbs, . . . Continue reading →

Grammar Guerilla: Comfort v Comfortability


In recent years a number of ersatz words have entered the popular vocabulary (particularly in sports broadcasting). One of the chief offenders is “comfortability.” Comfortability, as in, “He shows great comfortability moving the pocket” is a classic example of the practice of . . . Continue reading →