It Is "It's Versus Its"

elvis

Say it's not a Hot Topic if you like, but it's come up over and over via posters who don't know the difference, and its incorrect use can change the meaning of a post.


Since written words are all we have here, here goes.


Its, without an apostrophe, is the possessive of the pronoun it. It’s, with an apostrophe, is a contraction of it is or it has. If you’re not sure which spelling to use, try replacing it with it is or it has. If neither of those phrases works in its place, then its is the word you’re looking for. Its vs. it’s - Grammarist grammarist.com/spelling/its-its/.



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foodonastump

Elvis I’ve noticed their have been lessor times you correct peoples grammar lately, then you use to. Separate thread, very kind!

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Ziemia(6a)

Yes, thank you.

*** it's *** always means *** it is ***


(or * it has ")

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queenmargo

I am probably at fault, and will be on high alert ;)

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Great PSA, elvis, thank you.

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Chi

"Say it's not a Hot Topic if you like, but it's come up over and over via posters who don't know the difference, and its incorrect use can change the meaning of a post"

Everyone who posts here seems reasonably intelligent, and I am sure they understand the elementary basics of grammar. Typos and phone auto-corrects are much more likely to be the culprit of incorrect usage.

But I've always found it very rude to point out spelling and grammar mistakes on a forum.

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mudhouse

Admission: I slow down and say "it is" to myself, to figure this out, most of the time.

The correct possessive plural of surnames (especially ending in S) strikes fear in my heart, too. The Jones's house? The Joneses' house? The Jones's house? I just give up and say "the house belonging to the Jones family".

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Del Phinium

foodonastump

"Elvis I’ve noticed their have been lessor times you correct peoples grammar lately, then you use to. Separate thread, very kind!"

Is this post bait?! lol

I see what you did there, FOAS

Nicely done! ;)

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mudhouse

It was nice to use a seperate thread.

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HU-885118952

I know the correct usage. My fingers often times don't!

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queenmargo

Elvis I’ve noticed their have been lessor times you correct peoples grammar lately, then you use to. Separate thread, very kind!

there

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foodonastump

Oh my, Margo, is that the only error you see???

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foodonastump

What got poofed? I see the same comment they’re twice.


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Chi

Yes, its definitely their.

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queenmargo

It must have come back. It has been happening on other threads as well.???

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queenmargo

I see a LOT of errors on HT and I don't mean grammar, lol.

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Del Phinium

FOAS, you need to plug you're phone in. Your at 1% battery power ;)

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foodonastump

Thanks man, I just noticed that, two!

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queenmargo

How strange- the first time I posted that comment, I did not write the word "there" at the end???

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zmith

There's no they're there. LOL

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queenmargo


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patriciae_gw(07)

I also noticed FOAS was a piker in not misspelling seperate. or maybe not, mine self corrected says the Empress of misspelling.

I do know my possessives though but my typing leaves a lot to be desired.

Jones'

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foodonastump

Margo - I saw that, too. It was only bolder. Then a few minutes later it was reposted with a “there” and the first one now had it, too.


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elvis

foodonastump

Elvis I’ve noticed their have been lessor times you correct peoples grammar lately, then you use to. Separate thread, very kind!

Thanks. Now I am compelled to make you hurt me.

"Less" times. I think you were looking for "lesser", though.

"lessee and lessor" (leases)

Sigh. My work never ends.

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Del Phinium

What about the commas and apostrophes, elvis?! "Your" killing me! :)

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patriciae_gw(07)

A person could make an argument for fewer.

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elvis

The correct possessive plural of surnames (especially ending in S) strikes fear in my heart, too. The Jones's house? The Joneses' house? The Jones's house? I just give up and say "the house belonging to the Jones family".

Oh boy. Do we need a separate thread for possessive vs. plural? Or should we get it over with right now? What to do what to do.

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foodonastump

Sigh. My work never ends.


Well yeah, if you drag it out piecemeal! Let me help:


Elvis [comma] I’ve noticed their have been lessor times you correct peoples grammar lately, then you use to. Separate thread, very kind!


Plus, perhaps arguable, but I’d prefer if the final comma were a semicolon. Plus one or two others. But on a forum I write like I talk. 😋

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queenmargo

But on a forum I write like I talk.

AMEN to that!

I guess that gives me a pass;))

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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

Sigh indeed, let sleeping dogs lie, but what else can you to do in the Frozen North in winter.

Just wondering, apart from not having a college degree, there might be many in the community suffering from mild dyslexia.


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HU-515730878

Poor overused apostrophe.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Can I make a side tangent, inspired by the title of this thread?

“Kids these days” use “versus” as a verb in this sense:

-I have a basketball game today

-Oh really, who are you versing?

It makes me want to tear my hair out!

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queenmargo

I imagine you can thank Urban Dictionary for that.

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mudhouse

Oh boy. Do we need a separate thread for possessive vs. plural? Or should we get it over with right now? What to do what to do.

No stress, elvis. Consider it a plea on my part for future forgiveness by everyone, since I've already confessed to knot knowing what the heck to do in that case.

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mudhouse

-Oh really, who are you versing?

I (happily) hadn't heard that one, yet.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

Mudhouse my 7th grade English teacher forever solved your dilemma for us. He wrote Jonesssssssssssss on the board and then shouted “IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY ‘S’es A WORD ENDS IN, IF THE WORD IS SINGULAR ADD APOSTROPHE ‘S’ to make it possessive!”

If a word ends in a consonant, add ‘es’ to make it plural.

Lindsey and Husband Jones’s house

The house of the Joneses.

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vgkg (Va Z-7)

I used to care, just don't any more. I don't give an its.

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

“Kids these days” use “versus” as a verb in this sense..."

Oy. Although committing verbicide can be annoying, a big pet peeve of mine is when people say "verse" when they mean "versus".

Every time I hear an otherwise intelligent person say something like "It's cats verse dogs", I want to scream. What?!?!? Are they singing a verse from a song or something?

These things normally don't bother me, but for some reason this one does.

I know a pretty smart guy who is also affable and reasonable, but I cringe every time he uses "verse" when he should use "versus". It makes him sound stupid and he most certainly is not stupid.

I haven't had the heart to correct him because I understand what he means and it's not exactly the crime of the century. I don't know why this particular incident of "word abuse" bothers me.

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shaxhome(Frog Rock, Australia 9b)


"Apostrophe Protection Society closes its doors, announcing that 'the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won!'"


The Full Story



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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

This thread could go on forever.....done and did and what is going to happen to the English Language with texting. "where r u"

Here is a word just for Elvis. epiphyllum

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Ann

FOAS, silly game, IMO. Why? It's a perfectly reasonable thread.

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mudhouse

I do know my possessives though but my typing leaves a lot to be desired.

Jones'

Thanks Patriciae, AND miss lindsey. I'll try to remember that! For some stupid reason those looks like the least correct answers, and that means I'll probably keep doing it wrong. So, I'm giving you guys official permission to keep trying to help me.

Shaxhome, wonderful article, thank you. But it reminded me of another terror, "who" and "whom." (Apparently, I was raised by wolves.)

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Ann

Oh darn, I now see the game I thought silly consumed the entire thread. Mudhouse, my biggest confusion or problem is the same as yours.

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mudhouse

I love this thread.

I have been driven to hysterics by apostrophe errors on billboards (just ask my DH.) We're all human, but people who make billboards should be required to get some kind of an official license, with a required annual punctuation test.

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elvis

It makes him sound stupid and he most certainly is not stupid.

How about pets that got spaded and people who drownded?

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mudhouse

Oh man, I just went back up and read both posts by Patriciae and miss lindsey and I'm still kind of muddled on possessive plurals. I'll study on it later. I probably need somebody to scream at me from a blackboard.

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mudhouse

SPADED! I hate that one!

(Sorry. Didn't mean to yell.)

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shaxhome(Frog Rock, Australia 9b)

And why is it that (particularly) Americans "could care less."?

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patriciae_gw(07)

Mudhouse, I was taught by a traditionalist, Miss Hoague. For her a proper noun like Jones called for an apostrophe but you also have the possibility of 's if you pronounce the word with ez on the end as in Jones-ez. Miss Hoague would not agree but there you are. She might still be alive for all I know and I am not going to cross her. Come to think of it she would possibly be more scary dead.

Lets see if I can manage to do this because reading it will give you a headache

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/history-and-use-of-the-apostrophe

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

"How about pets that got spaded and people who drownded?"

You made me laugh. :-)

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

If there is more than one Jones living in the house, I believe it's welcome to the Joneses' house. Singular would be welcome to Mrs. Jones's house.

Have any of you read "Eats, Shoots & Leaves"? Best book on punctuation ever.


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Ann

jerzeegirl, or would it be welcome to the Jones' house, if there is more than one Jones living in the house? I don't know the answer?

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Ann

I'd love an apostrophe discussion. Also, I'd love for anyone to point out my apostrophe errors in any comment I write, assuming that person is sure they are right so I won't end up further confused.

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foodonastump

Not sure what I did to annoy you, Ann, I thought this thread was kinda lighthearted from the onset. I mean, I visualize Elvis typing the OP with a smile not a look of disgust. Could be wrong.

”Who are we versing?” I remember cringing at that one the first time I heard it, but unlike many other annoyances this one grew on me quickly. I might have said it once or twice myself, though I wouldn’t make a habit of it.


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Ann

FOAS, I love these threads, but the first comment is what annoyed me. It annoyed me because what was a real and useful thread deteriorated into a joke thread, with everyone trying to outdo another with mistakes. Yes, it was lighthearted, but it's a habit you engage in each time one of these conversations happen, and it tends to remove the usefulness of the thread right off the bat. Just my opinion as others seemed to enjoy the playfulness.

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HU-885118952

elvis

It makes him sound stupid and he most certainly is not stupid.

How about pets that got spaded and people who drownded?

I was watching the shampeachment proceedings with a Democrats talking about "texts", except she kept saying "texes".

If you can say the first "t", why not the second?

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Ann

"I know a pretty smart guy who is also affable and reasonable, but I cringe every time he uses "verse" when he should use "versus". It makes him sound stupid and he most certainly is not stupid."

This is why I think all of us can greatly benefit from threads like this. I don't want to sound stupid and I bet others feel the same way. Threads like this can help us all sound less stupid. As I mentioned, I have an apostrophe problem and I'd very much like to figure it out. I've googled it and I'm still confused. If people on this forum have it down, I'd love to learn from them. Again, I don't want to sound stupid. I'd like to try to spell correctly, use its and it's correctly, use to, too, and two correctly, use there and their correctly, and use apostrophes correctly. Wouldn't all of us who are regularly communicating (in writing) on HT? Who would make a choice to look stupid? Furthermore, if someone can't figure out some or any of these things and doesn't want to improve their lack of understanding, might some others begin to think they might actually be kind of stupid? Threads like this can be helpful to all.

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foodonastump

Good Lord.

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patriciae_gw(07)

It is nice of you Ann to do the heavy lifting to turn this into a Hot Topic. I appreciate it, but Hot topics is not supposed to be either real or useful. Grammar fits both parts since is Grammar real is a real point and is it useful when no one agrees on what its is. Welcome to English.

DH who has a background in linguistics gave me the apostrophe is in place of an elision argument when I told him what we are arguing. I gather that now is no longer a thing but it is an interesting point. Why apostrophes in the first place? We read a sentence and figure it out?

I had a supercilious snot of a relative of DH give me a copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I don't exactly know why. I don't sound illiterate. I had already read the book of course. I expect she didn't know I had Miss Hoague in 8th grade. She ought to have asked. It is a fun book and easy to understand. Still in the main grammar is the least of our worries. It is so mutable.

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queenmargo

LOL Ann,

Not sure if I really care if someone has the right apostrophe, or even if they have " its" spelled right when they ARE calling me stupid, or a RACIST. LOL

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Ann

Margo, no one can ever call another poster racist or stupid if they want to keep their account. Luckily that's against rules but, unfortunately, they just keep coming back and doing it again.

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patriciae_gw(07)

I have been reading this particular forum since 2007 and have yet to hear someone specifically call someone either racist or stupid. I hear a lot about these "they" people who do all sorts of things. Who is or are these "they" people? Do they use apostrophes properly?

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queenmargo

Well patriciae- you HAVE missed some comments then.

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Rina

Why apostrophes in the first place? Like most of the rules of this sort, they help to eliminate ambiguity and to ease the passage of the reader. They add both precision and courtesy to the communication.

However, just to mess with your minds:

It was Fowler's Modern English Usage that first set out the position with magisterial clarity, as discussed above. But it pointed out that names from antiquity are an exception: "in Jesus' name", "Socrates' followers" -- and I've seen "Cervantes' " mentioned on a sensible website as another exception. (You might notice that in these cases we don't usually say a second "s".)

Ah yes, and then there is an anti-Fowler school of thought. A friend recently wrote an article for an academic journal that insisted that the possessive of Jones (sing.) was Jones'. I happened to edit the article and found this very painful, as did she.

I type fast and my fingers do what they want to. I might want to type "France" and my fingers will happily type "Fred". There's a neurological reason for that, apparently. And I'm as prone to simple typos as anybody. So forgive me my trespasses and I'll try my best to forgive those of others. Please?

ETA to correct a typo, of course.

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foodonastump

Rina - As someone with a name ending with S I am somewhat of an authority, and I ask that you extend me the same courtesy you give Jesus and create possessive with an apostrophe only; “s’s” looks awful. I wouldn’t correct you though, as Merriam-Webster declares either option correct. They also note that your “exception” for names of antiquity is for polysyllabic names only.

It really comes down to style; different guides call for different punctuation. Best just to be consistent so that it looks intentional. When I find myself writing with mixed use of the terminal (serial, Oxford) comma, I tend to go back and standardize. I struggle a bit with that one because I was taught not to use it but it’s so common now that in some cases I find it looks awkward not to.

One recommendation I’d make for anyone compelled to offer grammatical corrections is to look it up first. Sometimes it’s optional style and that would make you look silly. For example, in the spirit of this thread (before I was chastised for not taking it seriously) I was tempted to tell Elvis that “versus” in the title should not be capitalized. But then I found it’s ok to capitalize prepositions of five or more letters if you wish. (Note, “five” not “5” as it’s ten or under.)

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rob333 (zone 7a)

eh, if I know what someone means, I merely overlook the grammar. I'm certain there are things I do incorrectly, and I appreciate anyone overlooking my many faults.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Eye dude knot no wise butt words dot zounds dee same seam too bee typed Evan dough wee noh butter. Aye donut awl wheys ketch em til laughter eye hit sub mitt.

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Rina

Food, not my exception -- Fowler's. I am a child of Fowler and Strunk & White, what can I do?

(For myself, when in doubt, if I say two esses, I use the apostrophe for a possessive.)

I tend towards the Oxford comma, but have to stay in line with whatever style my client prefers. It's not necessary, by the way, to use it all through a document if you use it once, as long as you have rationale for the distinction.

(By the way, you think some people here express hate in political contexts? Wait until you see two sub-editors lock horns on the use of the comma.)

By the way, "ten or under" isn't an invariable rule either. I've done books for very reputable publishers who ask for alpha from zero to ninety-nine or a hundred. That really is a style issue, not an issue of correctness according the rules of the written language. And it has complications too, but let's not go there.

Never come across the rule about capitalising prepositions. How strange.

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foodonastump

It's not necessary, by the way, to use it all through a document if you use it once, as long as you have rationale for the distinction.


Yes, I‘d definitely use it even if inconsistently, if I’m taking beer, macaroni and cheese, and chips to a party.


My tendency is to overuse commas; I’m conscious of it and will do a final read specifically for the purpose of removing as many as possible. My father blames it on my German background but I don’t know if there’s any validity to that.


Regarding caps of prepositions, looking at my search history I may have just seen that on quora which isn’t worth much. But, I did see one reputable looking site saying that any word of five or more letters should be capitalized in a title. Who knows. Avoid the agony and write vs.

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Toby

Elvis [comma] I’ve noticed their have been lessor times you correct peoples grammar lately, then you use to. Separate thread, very kind!

Plus, perhaps arguable, but I’d prefer if the final comma were a
semicolon. Plus one or two others. But on a forum I write like I talk.

The comma after "lately" is not an overuse--it's actually incorrect. But that's an awkward phrase even without the comma.

I would write it like this:

Elvis, I've noticed that there are fewer times you correct people's grammar than you used to.

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mudhouse

My tendency is to overuse commas; I’m conscious of it and will do a final read specifically for the purpose of removing as many as possible. My father blames it on my German background but I don’t know if there’s any validity to that.

That's interesting, Food. You can send me your extra commas. My brain pumps out run-on sentences. I read a second or third time to add commas, trying to make my sentences less painful to read.

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foodonastump

Yes Toby it was an intentionally awkward sentence.

Mudhouse, many of my commas are replaced with periods. Or semicolons. They’re more helpful with avoiding run-on sentences.

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queenmargo

I guess we are just all gifted in different areas;)

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you, Toby. I've been avoiding posting on this thread since I do not enjoy comma and apostrophe fights, but the comma after "lately" was really beginning to annoy me. I was just about to correct it, when I saw your post.

I 100% agree with your rewrite of that sentence.

Kate

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mudhouse

Margo: I guess we are just all gifted in different areas;)

I liked Food's point above: It really comes down to style; different guides call for different punctuation. Best just to be consistent so that it looks intentional.

A quick veer off topic, but I think the upside to consistency in punctuation practices could also be broadened to consistency in posting styles. I've always enjoyed our different posting styles. It becomes part of who we are (in our typed-out personas.) Hay's posting style is one example of a distinctive style. I think it makes the forum a little more interesting.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I also tend to too-long sentences and overuse of commas; but I will NEVER give up the Oxford comma unless it’s a deliberate omission for the sake of humour!

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queenmargo

I agree mudhouse. Yet Hay gets many comments flagged and accused of papering threads. He makes valid points in a different posting style. Sometimes they go over my head, but I enjoy the read;)

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foodonastump

Hay's posting style is one example of a distinctive style.


Funny.

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foodonastump

Hay's posting style is one example of a distinctive style.


It sure is.

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foodonastump

Hay's posting style is one example of a distinctive style.


It amuses me at times, especially when he’s making a point.

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foodonastump

Hay's posting style is one example of a distinctive style.


Sometimes it gets a bit much, but he’s about the easiest to scroll on by. You just keep going!

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

"I also tend to too-long sentences and overuse of commas; but I will NEVER give up the Oxford comma unless it’s a deliberate omission for the sake of humour!"

I agree 100%, Lindsey. I'm a stickler for the Oxford comma too. However, I would never spell "humor" as "humour"! Ha!

About the Oxford comma, is it de rigueur under British English rule? In America, English majors are taught it is required. However, journalism majors are taught it is to be avoided at all costs. As for the rest of the world, I guess it depends on which major they are more exposed to.

Kate

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rob333 (zone 7a)

You just keep going!


And going and going and going and going and going.....

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Ann

Margo, sometimes Hay's comments go over my head too, but I find some others to be fantastic! Not unlike you, he can sometimes make the very best points with just a few words.

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woodnymph2_gw

Yawn.....

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patriciae_gw(07)

Miss Hoague insisted on the Oxford comma. Case closed.

She was an interesting person from an upscale New England family, a homely only daughter in a family of handsome men. Her bible was the Oxford English Dictionary. Her delights in life were red pencils and diagraming sentences. She was by far the most demanding teacher I ever had teaching a whole raft of subjects including American History for which she used a college textbook. You certainly came out of her class knowing your whos from your whoms.

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cattyles

It would be wonderful if grammar and punctuation was the biggest problem on HT.

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shaxhome(Frog Rock, Australia 9b)

Funny about the Oxford comma. I was taught by a very strict and pedantic teacher, Mr Hayes, (who sounds similar to Mrs Hoague), NEVER to use it. That's stood me in good stead for many decades, but I do see occasions where it can be useful, and I'm embarrassed to admit I've inserted it occasionally for the sake of clarity...



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cyn427 NoVaZone7

Gene Weingarten made up this society which I think I need to join: "The I Am Not a Grammar Nazi I Am the Last Bulwark of Civilization Society."

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foodonastump

Classic, Shax!

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adoptedbyhounds

"I've been avoiding posting on this thread..."

I'm glad you finally did, Kate.

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Tilly Teabag

It’s not a hot topic.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Jim posted this on the smile thread in kitchen table and it's so appropriate here too:

I have a spelling checker,

It came with my PC;

It plainly marks four my revue

Mistakes I cannot sea.

I've run this poem threw it,

I'm sure your please too no,

Its letter perfect in its weigh,

My checker tolled me sew.

- Pennye Harper

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Yes, every once in a while, my auto-correct pulls a couple of those on me! Ha!

Kate

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elvis

Annie, that's a sad commentary on the lack of effort that people expend today.

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Tilly Teabag

I’m a writer and I write on the iPad. if you divide my work up into thirds, two thirds of the work is correcting autocorrupt. This makes me very nervous about potential mistakes of AI, in crucial activities, like driving, or Medicine.

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HamiltonGardener

Years ago, I had autocorrect turn “Ciminelli Corporation” into “Criminal Corporation” on a formal document.


I learned not to use spell check on auto in Word.

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Ziemia(6a)

It's amazing how modern tools has increased the ability to get more things done. Does Houzz tell us how important taking time to check spelling is to participating here?

"How sad it is that some deflect to snark..." is snarky. {Just using an example.} It is a way to demean someone for not agreeing.

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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

Auto correct is a pain if you are typing something that is semi scientific like Orchid Judging results.


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elvis

Best case ever against so-called "auto-correct".

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Ziemia(6a)

LOL

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terezosa / terriks

Where does our resident grammar cop stand on liddle'?

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elvis

There are few of "us", but I started the thread, so I'll answer. Who typed "liddle'"?

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terezosa / terriks

I'm sure you know who it was, and it wasn't the first time.


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palisades_

Elvis I’ve noticed their have been lessor times you correct peoples grammar lately, then you use to. Separate thread, very kind!

So I just opened this thread to see the first response was rightly criticized for ‘their’ usage. I couldn’t help but also noticed ‘then’ instead of ‘than’, as an intentional typo? Pardon me if someone already pointed that out, but I have seen ‘then’ is used in place of ‘than’ from people at all educational levels outside HT. It’s a pleasure to read proper grammatical posts although typos, autocorrects, or misuses don’t diminish my understanding of the context. That said y’all can correct me any time. Sorry I digress, Elvis.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Oh dear. That whole post was a spoof. Although to be really thorough 'separate' should have been spelled 'seperate'..... as mudhouse did above. Whether that was deliberate or not I have no idea. And 'grammar' should have been 'grammer'.

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HamiltonGardener

Well, my grammer says I talk good.

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Ann

Yeah palisades, the first comment was a spoof. Some enjoyed its lighthearted humor. I was a little disappointed the first comment was a spoof. I actually think many of us could improve our grammar and spelling and I prefer to take a thread like this seriously.

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elvis

terezosa / terriks

I'm sure you know who it was, and it wasn't the first time.

Nope, I was sincere. I did a word search of the thread and "liddle'" didn't show up in this thread. I just looked and that tweet isn't on this thread except for your recent post above. How would I know about it? I don't use gossip sites, i.e., FB or Twitter.

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Rina

I don't have a problem with "liddle" in that tweet. To me it's like saying "who's an itsy bitsy liddle puppy, then?". I do have a problem with the apostrophe that follows it, which is a careless repetition of the two that precede it and indicate the missing "g". To comment about the content and tone would be irrelevant on this thread.

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haydayhayday

Funny. (Hi, FOAS!)

Hay

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lurker111

Someone needs to google "adam schiff liddle kidz"

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haydayhayday

Really Funny.

If you ever want to get Elvis onto an endless task, type this comment:

""If if's and and's were pots and pans, the whole world would be a kitchen!"

How do I know?

Just last night:

https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5856497/latest-cnn-poll#n=89

Search for the phrase.

I hadn't seen this thread before this morning.

Hay


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haydayhayday

Language is an evolving system of communication.

"Nonplussed" is one of my most favorite illustrations of that.


I love it. The word,"nonplussed", has evolved so much that, today, both it's original meaning and its growing "improper" use has led us to accept a word whose meaning can mean one thing and, on the other hand, it's complete opposite!

Here is the short version:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonplussed

"One of the things that most vexes language purists … is when the meaning of a word changes over time. For example, it appears that the traditional sense of the word nonplussed, "bewildered and at a loss as to what to think," is slowly giving way to a new (and opposite) sense: "unfazed." Even experienced writers are using the new sense."

Hay

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haydayhayday

One of the things that most vexes language purists...

If Elvis had her way, we'd all talk like Shakespeare.

Here's the longer version:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/nonplussed

If Elvis had her way, we'd all talk like Shakespeare!

Here may the Non-plust wooer fetch a wile
To breake all Remora's, plots to beguile
All Fortune's crosses: and if language faile,
Here may he learne to court, triumph, bewaile
I'th eloquentest straines.
—Achilles Tatius, The Loves of Clitophon and Leucippe, 1638

Hay

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haydayhayday

That's why they call it a "Manual of STYLE", not a "Manual of Hard and Fast Rules".

That's why I don't wear bell bottoms any more.

Edit: I should have been more careful. "bell-bottoms."

Double Edit: I never wore bell-bottoms, no matter how you spell it. Some styles need to go out of fashion!

Funny.


Hay

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haydayhayday

"Begging the question" is another phrase that's evolving.

It's original meaning is a particular logical fallacy.

But, the way it sounds to the commoner's ear means it has evolved to mean the manner in which YOU improperly use it.

Yes, YOU!

- In classical rhetoric and logic, begging the question is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument's premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it. ... In modern vernacular usage, however, begging the question is often used to mean "raising the question" or "suggesting the question".

The world is not meant for logical people.

Hay

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haydayhayday

QED.

Hay

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terezosa / terriks

I didn't realize that Trump's preferred communication medium, Twitter, was a gossip site.

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palisades_

But he has made it his communication channel. Be the agent of change, as people say.

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queenmargo

I don't care what you call Twitter, it has proven to be a Trump asset;))

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terezosa / terriks

It was Elvis, not me who called Twitter a gossip site.

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queenmargo

OK thanks.

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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

According to the University of Google 5 to 10% of the population suffer from dyslexia.

The lady in charge of this household does to a mild degree, but we all have our little problems. I cannot remember where I put things, but she remembers everything, so all have to say is "Do you know where I put my glasses?"

Language is certainly evolving, the following sentence wouldn't have made sense in 1920.

This thread has been attacked by a carpet bomber!

Slaved away for 41.5 years typing, typing countless words without worrying about commas etc. etc. Now I'm all stressed out, will this little offering pass the censor?

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queenmargo


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dadoes

I'm not going to try to read all the replies, too many, too much time.

A couple that cause irritation:

Use of of for have. Could of, should of, would of [done this or that]. Nope. Could have, should have, would have [done this or that]. It's a mix-up / mis-hearing of abbreviation 've. Could've, should've, would've.

Try and [do something]. Nope. Try to [do something].
-- I will try and get to my appointment in town at 10:00. Nope, simply say (or write) I will get to my appointment in town at 10:00.
-- I will try to get to my appointment in town at 10:00 ... right, and you may fail so you are trying to complete the action.

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Stan Areted

While I agree with the above, one could technically correctly say, "I will try and get to my appointment."


Such as, I will try to do something (as in being careful, or being punctual) AND declaring, I will get to my appointment.

There are often exceptions.

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Rina

Hayday, I've yet to read the intervening comments, but for once we are so in agreement. "Begging the question." I think I first saw it misused in the mid or late '80s, in a piece written by a woman who prided herself, presented herself to the world, as a highly educated academic. An aberration, surely? But no. It was such a lovely, subtle, interesting expression -- now, eh. Impoverishment of language, for sure. As an editor I still change it every time I see it. Makes me feel like a subversive in a fine cause.

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haydayhayday

arthurm:

"Language is certainly evolving, the following sentence wouldn't have made sense in 1920.

This thread has been attacked by a carpet bomber!"

Funny.

And on-target!

"First Known Use of on-target

1967, in the meaning defined above"

Hay

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haydayhayday

A twofer, just for you!


Rina:

" a woman who prided herself, presented herself to the world, as a highly educated academic."

I see too many people, who otherwise would be considered highly educated, use "feel badly" inappropriately.


"To feel badly implies that your sense of touch is not right. When you are referring to a sense of touch, then badly is used as an adverb describing the verb to feel or touch. The correct way to say the sentence is, "I feel bad for him because he didn't make the cut."

Hay

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haydayhayday

I actually love language and discussing it.

Don't get me started.

Funny.

Hay

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

Years ago, I had autocorrect turn “Ciminelli Corporation” into “Criminal Corporation” on a formal document.

Best insurance against an auto correct embarrassement is to add the word (or name) to the dictionary (in this case Ciminelli). However, there is nothing that will prevent a person from embarrassment by typing, let's say, pubic instead of public.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Hay the whole if quote is

If wishes were horses beggars would ride

If turnips were watches I'd have one by my side

If if's and ands were pots and pans there'd be no work for Tinker's hands.

and a nice lot of apostrophes there are too.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I think that would tinkers'. It's a trade, not a name. And there's more than one of them.

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terezosa / terriks

patriciae, what's with the apostrophe in ifs?

And yes, it should be tinkers'.

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patriciae_gw(07)

You are right. And Terezosa, well you might ask. I have no idea where that came from. I was typing a quote (because I double checked) and put down what they had which is wrong. That will teach me. I cant proof read.

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haydayhayday

"If if's and and's...."

Who you going to trust?

Elvis? patriciae? terezosa?

George Bernard Shaw?

"George Bernard Shaw...was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature."



Saint Joan


“If if's and and's were pots and pans, there'd be no need for tinkers.”


― George Bernard Shaw, Saint Joan

Hay

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arthurm2015(Micro-Climate, Zone 10b Sydney, Australia)

When I said I slaved away for 41.5 years that is not entirely true. In ancient times you didn't do typing, you wrote your missive out longhand and took it to the typing pool which was run by a Harpy.

How I long for those good old days.

Inkwells in the Actuarial Dept.

Typing pools

No emails

No computers

No internet

Thanks everyone for an interesting discussion.

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terezosa / terriks

That will teach me. I cant proof read.


Clearly😜

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patriciae_gw(07)

Terezosa, I was taught to read under a system called Look Say where you read the shapes of words. It makes editing a problem. If it is written down it reads fine because you read the sense of the word. I have been taught the rules, or some of them as I was never taught phonics. If I actually look I should notice the problems but I have to be looking for them. My spelling is so bad I think spell check is a great idea.

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elvis

haydayhayday

"If if's and and's...."

Who you going to trust?

Elvis? patriciae? terezosa?

George Bernard Shaw?

I'll take terezosa for Grammar, Alex.

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terezosa / terriks

I was just joking with you patriciae. Lots of really smart people have trouble with spelling, punctuation, etc. And I'm certainly no expert!

I think that the way that you were taught to read is actually the more natural way that children learn to read. I always thought that teaching to read purely with phonics was ridiculous - after all, the word phonics isn't spelled phonetically!

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patriciae_gw(07)

I understood that terezora. I think ideally you should have both. I was taught this for nine months but it has been a blight on my life. I have worked hard to overcome the tendency to scan but it is automatic. I have very good reading comprehension though and am a whiz at anagrams and yet I cant spell. My brain just rearranges the letters. DH and I do Cryptic Crosswords and he can spell so I ask if I have the right spelling for the word my brain spits out.

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Rina

I note that the words of mine that Hay quoted are grammatically incorrect.

" a woman who prided herself, presented herself to the world, as a highly educated academic."

Fix it:

"a woman who prided herself on being, presented herself to the world as, a highly educated academic"

Now it's merely clumsy. You can't win, I tell you.


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haydayhayday

Elvis:

"I'll take terezosa for Grammar, Alex."

It must be painful for you to see the appreciation people have for the writings of e.e. cummings.


"He is often regarded as one of the most important American poets of the 20th century.

...

Much of his work has idiosyncratic syntax and uses lower case spellings for poetic expression.

...

He graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1915 and received a Master of Arts degree from the university in 1916. In his studies at Harvard, he developed an interest in modern poetry, which ignored conventional grammar and syntax, while aiming for a dynamic use of language.

...

At the time of his death, Cummings was recognized as the second most read poet in the United States, behind Robert Frost."

Hay



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haydayhayday

"Cummings didn't use capital letters, proper punctuation, or proper grammar. He used this to his advantage in mixing the message into the poem. He deliberatley confused the reader by having them follow the winding paths of words he had created because he felt that a straight one would narrow the reader's mind."

(unedited except for bolding-hay)

Funny.

Hay


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haydayhayday

Funny.

"(unedited except for bolding-hay)"

https://www.google.com/search?q=define+bolding&rlz=1C1PRFI_enUS876US876&oq=define+bolding&aqs=chrome..69i57.7952j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8



"Is bolding a word?

Bold is available as a verb and bolded would be its past tense, but it's more usual to use embolden. There is no entry in a dictionary for the verb "bold"."

Hay



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haydayhayday

I'll take Bob Dylan for Creativity, Alex.


Nobel Prize for Literature

US singer Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first songwriter to win the prestigious award. The 75-year-old rock legend received the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Hay


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haydayhayday

Nightie Night.

Hay

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elvis

"Is bolding a word?

Bold is available as a verb and bolded would be its past tense, but it's more usual to use embolden. There is no entry in a dictionary for the verb "bold"."

Hay

I don't think "bolding" is an official word, yet. That said, I would say that it would be a noun, if it was a word, officially.

________

E.E. Cummings was a favorite of mine, a long time ago. It was probably just the quirkiness.

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haydayhayday

Elvis:

"I don't think "bolding" is an official word, yet. That said, I would say that it would be a noun, if it was a word, officially."

What is an "official word"?

Is "official word" even an official phrase?

Hay

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haydayhayday

The reality is that mostly the very common people are the ones who "invent" a new word and then, after its use becomes widespread enough, some high-brow group tells them how to use it "properly".


Hay


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elvis

I agree with you. I'm somewhat surprised that an internet search doesn't turn up a "dictionary" definition of "bolding", as a noun. There are sites that tell one how use "bolding".

You’ll learn the basics behind Discord’s formatting engine (Markdown & Highlight.js), basic formatting commands (bolding, italicizing, underlining, etc.), and you’ll learn how to type out text in boxes and

https://www.writebots.com/discord-text-formatting/

(Discord is a free and secure all-in-one voice+text app designed for gamers that works on your desktop and phone)

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elvis

Say, Hay. I saw this and thought of you.


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haydayhayday

You've lost me on the connection with my friend there,

I'm glad to hear, though, that I'm always on your mind.

What are you thinking about me today?


"I agree with you."

I'll admit to being a little surprised at hearing that from you and figured I should retire from this conversation while I was still ahead.

Hay


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elvis

Well, Hay. The beasties at the feeder almost always bring you to mind. All those stories and photos you've posted over the years, I guess. Anyway, this porky little critter looks like the kind of character you might know.

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haydayhayday

Elvis:

"Well, Hay. The beasties at the feeder almost always bring you to mind. All those stories and photos you've posted over the years, I guess. Anyway, this porky little critter looks like the kind of character you might know."

OK, now I get it.

When you post a photo like that, out of the blue, in a conversation like this, in this forum, I'm left guessing.

Glad, though, that you think about me.

Hay


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