The Great Singular 'They' Debate

The lovely and talented Ronosaurus Rex (author of the finely edited book Narrative Madness) has written an argument for the use of "they" as a generic singular pronoun: "A Case for the Singular They as a Genderless Pronoun in Formal Speech and Writing." The Chronicle of Higher Education has also recently covered the idea a few times in the…

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Link-O-Rama

A list of links, largely stolen from a recent Reddit thread of useful sites no one knows about, is up on BuzzFeed. In turn, here are a few links from those lists I hadn't previously known (or had forgotten) about and think are pretty neat: MerriamWebsterOnline's YouTube channel. "Ask the Editor" is a series of…

Everyone, Every Day

There seem to be more and more instances of the adjective "everyday" being used where the adjective+noun (acting together as an adverbial phrase) "every day" should be used.  Everyday means: "Daily, quotidian, commonplace: happening every day." Every day also means "daily," but modifies a verb, not a noun. Every Day vs. Everyday The bus driver…

Passive Voice and Passival Tense

Happy Passive Voice Day! Don't go nuts trying to always avoid passive. Here is a useful illustration of other verb forms being confused for passive in student paper-grading, and links to Language Log posts on the passive voice. Bonus links: Language Log on the now-archaic passival tense, replaced since ca. the mid-18th century by the…

This Clickbait Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

Is Upworthy indirectly addressing a crisis of faith that internet users collectively feel? Is there something about the hyperlink that makes us want to believe, or disbelieve, what is on the other side? Does clickbait restore our faith or inspire our disbelief? Life Sentences: The Grammar of Clickbait! From The American Reader. Short but sweet.…