Usage

Down on the range

September 26, 2003
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Just for the heck of it, a Bill Walsh Sharp Point on idiotic uses of “ranging from…”

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From Strunk & White’s greatest hits

September 26, 2003
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A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject.

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A choice Word Spy entry

September 26, 2003
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Headline risk: The risk associated with something or someone that has the potential to generate an excessive amount of negative publicity. Backgrounder: The real risk involved in headline risk isn’t the initial negative publicity, but how the subject ? usually a company or a politician ? handles that publicity. Lying about it, trying to...

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Reader mail

September 25, 2003
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Dear Tom: Something for your “I hate cliches” list. When I was in college, a bunch of folks used to get together to watch old reruns of the Bob Newhart Show (the one where he’s a shrink) and play a drinking game called, “Hi, Bob.” Any time someone said “Bob” on the show meant...

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Wistful, massive

September 21, 2003
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Nicole sets us straight on the right way to use ‘em.

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Last words on said and says

September 21, 2003
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Willcopy and Clay have been ruminating over attribution, so I might as well settle the matter: “Says” paraphrases a statement of opinion that presumably would not change. “Said” is for direct quotes or paraphrasing statements of fact. Whatever you do, get it out of your head that a story must be all one or...

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Get over it

September 15, 2003
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Stylin’ & Smilin’ insists we continue to replace “over” with “more than.” I still do it reflexively, out of loyalty to my favorite professors or something, but I think this battle is lost. “Over” was come to mean “more than” in the same way that temperatures have taken on the ability to be hot...

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