November 30, 2013 4:36 PM EST
Thank you for your program.
November 28, 2014 11:09 PM EST
Hey Chuck,<br>On to more serious matters. You seem like a progressive man, what is your take on Ebonics? Do you think we should start teaching this in our public schools? If not why? What is language anyway, but a way to communicate. Ebonics could the new contemporary language for all folks. Yo peace out!
July 31, 2015 10:26 PM EDT
I have listened to you on the mike rosen show and enjoy the program very much. My friends and I are disagreeing about whether or not there is a word for that. Gianormous. Chillax. The combination of two words. A side note, I had the opportunity to use the word pleonastic recently. Thanks
August 03, 2015 11:51 AM EDT
My take on Ebonics is that, like all dialects, it is an emblem of a culture and its verbal customs can tell us much about that culture. But I wouldn't advocate teaching it in place of standard English. In addition to it, perhaps, but not instead of it.
August 03, 2015 11:57 AM EDT
"Ginormous" and "chillax" are recent examples of a wonderfully creative tendency in English to combine two words into one new one. Such words are called "blend words" or "portmanteau words," after the old-fashioned trunk or suitcase that opens into two halves. Lewis Carroll, creator of Alice in Wonderland, was famous for inventing portmanteau words such as "galumph" ("gallop" + "triumph") and "chortle" ("chuckle" and "snort"). "Smog" ("smoke" + "fog") is another famous blend word, as is "motel" ("motor" + "hotel"). I have an essay on this topic in my new book WORD WORKOUT.
December 27, 2015 8:44 AM EST
"Between he and his wide receivers" sounds wrong to me. Isn't it him?
January 19, 2016 12:13 PM EST
I just heard you on the radio in Colorado. I couldn't get through on the phone. I just wanted to say two of my verbal pet peeves are the use of "healthy" (as in healthy diet) instead of "healthful" (as in healthful diet) and the use of "refer back," which is redundant, instead of refer.
January 19, 2016 12:33 PM EST
"You don't know what it's like," says a character in one of my favorite <i>New Yorker</i> cartoons, "to be a 'just between you and me' person in a 'just between you and I' world." The mistake you describe is called an overcorrection or hypercorrection, and it's made by educated or half-educated people who think they're avoiding the "Can Johnny and me go out to play?" mistake. Grammatically speaking, it's the misuse of a nominative pronoun (I, he, she) where an objective pronoun (me, him, her) is called for. After "between," "for," and "to," you always want the objective pronoun: a dinner for you and <i>me</i>, a message to <i>him</i> and <i>her</i>, between <i>him</i> and his wife.
January 19, 2016 12:43 PM EST
Toni, I'm with you all the way, although I don't think we're going to win either battle. I too would like to restrict "healthy" for a good state of health and reserve "healthful" for that which promotes good health, but I'm afraid the distinction is being lost and the former word will eventually eclipse the latter. You also justifiably attack "refer back" because it is a pleonasm (the "re-" in "refer" means "back") so we should let "refer" do its work alone. But the people out there who like to "mix together," "edit out," and "continue on" will no doubt prevail on this one. Meanwhile, keep fighting the good fight.
April 08, 2016 11:47 AM EDT
Just reading What In The Word for the second time round and noticed you mention your daughters creating the word 'ginormous'. The OED claims it was in use circa 1940 (you probably already know this now). On a side note when will yourother books be coming to ebook format. The only one i've been able to get a hold of is Verbal Advantage. I don't know whether to thank you or loathe you for getting me addicted to words but it's too late now.