Grammar Tidbits

I thought of this lightbulb category for this blog because I was thinking this morning that sometimes, we carry with us these little tidbits of information that we remember forever. For whatever reason, someone says something (or we read something) and it just "clicks."

So I thought I'd blog about that. This one goes back to eight grade for me (and why it took me until I was 12 or 13 to learn this is beyond me, but kudos to the teacher). I believe it was the very first day of class -- she made it clear she didn't want to see the following typical mistakes, so told us the following.

"a lot"
This is always two words. Enough said. Never, ever is it one word. Don't confuse this with "allot."

It's != Its
"It's" is a contraction of it is or it has. (e.g., "It's such a nice day.")
"Its" is a possessive pronoun -- think of it like a gender neutral "his" or "her." (e.g., "A rock won't have its feelings hurt if you yell at it.")

e.g., i.e., et. al.
This is what they mean:
e.g.: exempli gratia, for example.
et. al.: et alii, and others.
i.e.: id est, that is.
etc.: et cetera, and so forth.

Some style books suggest just not using these anymore; but in any case, at least know what they mean.

So here was a lightbulb moment. 5 minutes is all it took :)

Comments (2) -

7/11/2005 3:40:42 AM #

Hey, thanks for the latin comment quick-ref (i.e. list of latin abbreviations and their meaning). I'm sure that I (et. al.) will find it useful in the future (e.g. referring back to it for future postings). I've wondered what the abbreviations (e.g., i.e., etc.) actually stood for.


Captain Ray
Captain Ray
12/22/2005 6:02:13 AM #

There is one that sticks with me "n.b." or "nb" in latin is nota bene,
i.e. Take Note. used to call attention to something important.

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