Thursday, June 29, 2006

Today's English lesson

From Common Errors In English.

Today's error:

Accept or Except?

If you offer me Godiva [ed. -- Stam is better] chocolates I will gladly accept them -- except for the candied violet ones. Just remember that the "X" in "except" excludes things -- they tend to stand out, be different. In contrast, just look at those two cozy "C's" snuggling up together. Very accepting. And be careful; when typing "except" it often comes out "expect."

Today's non-error (or, stuff your English teacher might've fussed at you about, but isn't actually an error):

Split infinitives
For the hyper-critical, "to boldly go where no man has gone before" should be "to go boldly..." It is good to be aware that inserting one or more words between "to" and a verb is not strictly speaking an error, and is often more expressive and graceful than moving the intervening words elsewhere; but so many people are offended by split infinitives that it is better to avoid them except when the alternatives sound strained and awkward.

There now... don't you feel smarter already?

No comments: