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Word Fact: Toward vs. Towards

Word Facts:

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“Do you move toward something or towards something? It turns out, you can do both, though some contexts favor one over the other.”

“According to the Chicago Manual of Style, the preferred form in American English is toward without the -s, while the preferred British English form is towards with the -s. This general rule works with other directional words, including forward, backward, upward, and downward, along with afterward.”

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“However, what applies to formal written English does not always apply to informal settings, both written and spoken. American English speakers often use towards in colloquial speech and writing, and toward sometimes pops up in British English.”

“Additionally, things have not always been this way historically. For example, Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales in a time before English spelling was standardized. Despite being a British text, he uses toward without an -s, the accepted American English variant today. Looking at American English data from Google Books Ngram Viewer, towards appears to have been used more widely in American English texts up until about 1900, when it was overtaken by toward.”

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This word ‘generation,’ I do not think it means what you think it means

Family Inequality

The people who make up these things drive me bananas.

NPR launched a new series on “millennials” yesterday, called “New Boom,” with this dramatic declaration: “There are more millennials in America right now than baby boomers — more than 80 million of us.”

The definition NPR gives for this generation is “people born between 1980 and 2000.” And it’s true there are more than 80 million of them. In fact, there are 91 million of them, according to the 2012 American Community Survey data you can get from IPUMS.org.* That’s OK, though, because there are only 76 million Baby Boomers, so the claim checks out.

But what’s a generation?

The Baby Boom was a demographic event. In 1946, after the end of World War II, the crude birth rate — the number of births per 1,000 population — jumped from 20.4 to 24.1, the biggest one-year change recorded in U.S. history…

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Word Fact: What Is the Difference Between i.e. and e.g.?

Word Facts:

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“They may be small, but their power to befuddle writers and speakers of the English language is mighty: what’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.? And what are the correct uses of these commonly confused abbreviations?

The term i.e. is a shortening of the Latin expression id est, which translates to “that is.” It is used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has already been stated: “I like citrus fruits, i.e., the juicy, edible fruits with leathery, aromatic rinds of any of numerous tropical, usually thorny shrubs or trees of the genus Citrus.” In this example, i.e. introduces an elaboration on citrus fruits.”

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“The term e.g. is an abbreviation of the Latin expression exempli gratia, meaning “for the sake of example” or more colloquially, “for example.” It follows that this term is used to introduce examples of something that has already been stated: “I like citrus fruits, e.g., oranges, lemons, and limes.”

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“One easy way to remember the difference between these two is by employing a simple mnemonic device: think of the i at the beginning of i.e. as standing for the first word in the phrase “in other words,” indicating that the clause that follows will rephrase or explain what precedes the term. E.g. is a little more straightforward since e stands for exempli meaning “example.” To ensure your mastery over these terms is not tarnished by misplaced punctuation, remember that in formal writing, e.g. and i.e. are often set off in parentheses and followed by a comma; in less formal writing, it is standard to place a comma before and after these terms.”

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Weird Al’s“Word Crimes”and Prescriptive

http://blog.dictionary.com/word-crimes/

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“Weird Al Yankovic’s latest album, Mandatory Fun, showcases his knowledge of grammar with the song “

“Word Crimes,” a parody of last summer’s controversial hit “Blurred Lines.” Among his peeves, Weird Al discusses the use of literally, whom, casual text speak, and apostrophes.”

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