Friday, July 20, 2012

Rules Project Entry 5

Whomever vs. Whoever

After learning the difference between "whomever" and "whoever" in this class, I constantly check other people's writings to make sure that they used the correct word.  In the Wellsville Daily Reporter, I came across an article that used "whoever."

In the above image it says, "'We've been kind of hit and miss the first five innings, but our bullpen, whoever is coming in that role at any given day is honestly going to be very, very good,' said Hornell head coach Tony Fuller."  From what I understand the reporter is correct when using "whoever."

Commentary: If you were to read this website it would tell you that whom=him and who=he.  If you didn't know which one to use (whomever or whoever) you could break down the sentence in the above image like this, ______ is coming in that role at any given day.... If you were to place him or he in the blank spot, you would be able to tell that "he" makes more sense, therefore "whoever" is correctly placed in this article. 

Then vs. Than

During this past week, I saw a facebook status that used the word "than" instead of "then."

According to this website,, "than" is a conjunction and is used in comparisons.  For example, Sally is stronger than Maggie.  In this sentence we are comparing Sally's strength to Maggie's. 

"Then" can have multiple meanings.  The most common meanings are a point in time, such as I wasn't ready then, and next or afterward, like in the sentence I ate breakfast then I took a shower

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

No Apostrophes when Referring to Decades

I always used to use an apostrophe when referring to a decade, such as the 1920's.  I first learned that there should never be an apostrophe when you refer to these dates in a college history class.  The professor said that when students use this apostrophe, he gets very annoyed; therefore it became one of his own grammar pet peeves.  I made sure when I created a research paper in his class I said "the 1920s."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rules Project Entry 4

The Colon

Usually when I see colons, I see them used for a list.  For example, I need to get tons of groceries: apples, milk, bread, potatoes, corn, etc.  I decided to find out the other meanings to using a colon in the English language. 

In the website,, I found out that a colon can also be used after an independent clause when introducing a quotation.
             Ex.  My teacher’s remark on my final essay was very complimentary: “This essay coherently analyzes musical trends of the late 20th century.”

The other reason a colon may be used is when it is in between two independent clauses and one would want to emphasize the second clause.  In the above image, it says "Do Nothing Congress: Just Leave," I believe the reporter wanted to use this colon in particular, to emphasize the second clause.  Without reading the actual article, one could assume that Congress is doing nothing, therefore they could just leave.  The words "just leave" help make more of a statement to the readers and I think this was the reason the reporter used the colon.   

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wouldn't it be an unit?

When we were in school weren't we all taught that you have to add an "n" before a word that starts with a vowel and "a" before a consonant.

An apple
An elephant
An igloo

A dog
A hand

Come to find out you have to add the "n" for a vowel SOUND!  What the heck, did I just not listen correctly when I was younger?  Oh well, at least I can teach my students the correct rule.  Some examples that I thought were exceptions to the rule were:

An hour

A unit
A unicorn

But these were always correct from the beginning because I didn't know the SOUND was a part of the rule.  It is AN hour because hour has a vowel sound in the beginning.  It is A unit and A unicorn because the "u" make a -yoo sound. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Everyday vs. Every day

I used to think that "everyday" was always one word, but I soon learned that I was wrong. 

"Every day" as two words can literally mean "each day."  In the sentence, I feed my dog, Payton every day, can also mean that I feed my dog, Payton each day.

After learning that "every day" means each day, I soon wondered what "everyday" meant.  "Everyday" is an adjective that means commonplace, ordinary, or normal and is used in front of a noun.  (  In the sentence, You shouldn't wear an everyday outfit to the wedding, "everyday" is describing the outfit. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fewer vs. Less

Some people may not even know that "fewer" and "less" cannot be switched in and out for each other in a sentence.  "Fewer" or "few" are used in a sentence for things that can quantify.  In other words, "fewer" is used for countable nouns: person, place, or thing.  For example in the sentence, The girl has fewer than five dolls.  One would use "fewer" in this sentence because dolls can be quantified.

One would use "less" in a sentence for things that can be hypothetically quantified.  For instance, in the sentence, You should spend less of your time complaining.  Time in this sentence is abstract and cannot be hypothetically quantified.