Month: October 2011

October 29, 2011

Whose Pronoun Is That?

In my last post I touched on the fact that whose as a relative possessive adjective referring to inanimate objects feels a little strange to some people. In a submission for the topic suggestion contest, Jake asked about the use of that with animate referents (“The woman that was in the car”) and then said, […]

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Historical linguistics, Usage, Words 10 Replies to “Whose Pronoun Is That?”
October 29, 2011

Free Shipping on Shirts Today and Tomorrow

Sorry if you’ve already seen this on Twitter or Facebook, but you can get free shipping (up to $9.50 value) on all orders from the Arrant Pedantry store today and tomorrow. Use the code witchinghour during checkout. There’s no minimum order requirement, so the coupon is good whether you buy one shirt or a dozen […]

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October 19, 2011

Rules, Regularity, and Relative Pronouns

The other day I was thinking about relative pronouns and how they get so much attention from usage commentators, and I decided I should write a post about them. I was beaten to the punch by Stan Carey, but that’s okay, because I think I’m going to take it in a somewhat different direction. (And […]

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Descriptivism, Prescriptivism, Usage, Words 9 Replies to “Rules, Regularity, and Relative Pronouns”
October 17, 2011

They and the Gender-Neutral Pronoun Dilemma

A few weeks ago, as a submission for my topic contest, Bob Scopatz suggested I tackle the issue of gender-neutral pronouns in English. In his comment he said, “I dislike alternating between ‘he’ and ‘she’. I despise all variants of ‘he/she’, ‘s/he’, etc. I know that I should not use ‘they’, but it feels closest […]

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Usage, Words 22 Replies to “They and the Gender-Neutral Pronoun Dilemma”
October 17, 2011

Please Vote for Me!

My blog is currently in fourth place in Grammar.net’s Best Grammar Blog of 2011 contest. Please help me get into the top three by voting for Arrant Pedantry! Voting ends today. No registration required; you just have to complete a CAPTCHA. Go here to vote.

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October 6, 2011

Continua, Planes, and False Dichotomies

On Twitter, Erin Brenner asked, “How about a post on prescriptivism/descriptivism as a continuum rather than two sides? Why does it have to be either/or?” It’s a great question, and I firmly believe that it’s not an either-or choice. However, I don’t actually agree that prescriptivism and descriptivism occupy different points on a continuum, so […]

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Descriptivism, Prescriptivism 23 Replies to “Continua, Planes, and False Dichotomies”
October 4, 2011

Winners!

After much deliberation, I have two winners for the Kindle 3G / You Are What You Speak giveaway contest. There were a lot of good suggestions that would have made great posts, though I felt unqualified or underqualified to tackle some of those topics myself. I might try to get to some of the non-winning […]

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