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The Importance of Correct Punctuation

From Games Magazine,, 1984 We examine two "Dear John" letters Version 1: Dear John, I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like ou admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I earn for ou. I have no feelings whatsoever when we!re apart. I "an be forever happ ##will ou let me be ours$ %loria Version 2: Dear John, I want a man who knows what love is. &ll about ou are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like ou. &dmit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. 'or other men, I earn. 'or ou, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we!re apart, I "an be forever happ . Will ou let me be$ Yours, %loria

Grammar Police
from the "Metropolitan Diary" section of the NY T M!" #$%ne 1, 1998& (isiting an editor at )andom *ouse, I stepped into a "rowded elevator and found m self pressed "lose to the "ontrol panel. "*as ever one got their floors$" I asked.

&fter a moment!s silen"e, a oung female voi"e from the rear said, "*is or her." "I beg our pardon$" I said. "*is or her. It!s !*as ever one got his or her floors$! Your pronouns don!t agree. "&nd shouldn!t it be !his or her floor!, not !floors!$" a oung man piped up. "+a"h of us gets off at onl one floor." "&nd wouldn!t it be better to sa !Does ever bod have$! rather than !*as ever bod got$!" a third voi"e "himed in. I stood "orre"ted # and red fa"ed. ,ut I was glad to know that good grammar is alive and well.

Gender Punctuation
&n +nglish professor wrote the words "woman without her man is a savage" on the bla"kboard and dire"ted his students to pun"tuate it "orre"tl . -he men wrote. "Woman, without her man, is a savage." -he women wrote. "Woman. Without her, man is a savage."

The Duel
& duel was fought between &lexander /hott and John 0ott. 0ott was shot and /hott was not. In this "ase it is better to be /hott than 0ott. /ome said that 0ott was not shot. ,ut /hott sa s that he shot 0ott. It ma be that the shot /hott shot, shot 0ott, or it ma be possible that the shot /hott shot, shot /hott himself. We think, however, that the shot /hott shot, shot not /hott, but 0ott. &n wa it is hard to tell whi"h was shot and whi"h was not.

Double Positive
& linguisti"s professor was le"turing to his "lass one da . "In +nglish," he said, "& double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, su"h as )ussian, a double negative is still a negative. *owever, there is no language wherein a double positive "an form a negative. This little treatise on the lovely language we share is only for the brave. It was passed on by a linguist, original author unknown. Peruse at your leisure, English lovers. easons why the English language is so hard to learn! "# The bandage was wound around the wound. $# The farm was used to produ%e produ%e. &# The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. '# (e must polish the Polish furniture. )# *e %ould lead if he would get the lead out. +# The soldier de%ided to desert his dessert in the desert. ,# -in%e there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. .# / bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. 0# (hen shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. "1# I did not ob2e%t to the ob2e%t. ""# The insuran%e was invalid for the invalid. "$# There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. "&# They were too %lose to the door to %lose it. "'# The bu%k does funny things when the does are present. ")# / seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. "+# To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. ",# The wind was too strong to wind the sail. ".# /fter a number of in2e%tions my 2aw got number. "0# 3pon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. $1# I had to sub2e%t the sub2e%t to a series of tests. $"# *ow %an I intimate this to my most intimate friend4 5et6s fa%e it 7 English is a %razy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger8 neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren6t invented in England or 9ren%h fries in 9ran%e. -weetmeats are %andies while sweetbreads, whi%h aren6t sweet, are meat.

(e take English for granted. :ut if we e;plore its parado;es, we find that <ui%ksand %an work slowly, bo;ing rings are s<uare and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. /nd why is it that writers write but fingers don6t fing, gro%ers don6t gro%e and hammers don6t ham4 If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn6t the plural of booth beeth4 =ne goose, $ geese. -o one moose, $ meese4 =ne inde;, $ indi%es4 >oesn6t it seem %razy that you %an make amends, but not one amend. If you have a bun%h of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you %all it4 If tea%hers taught, why didn6t prea%hers praught4 If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat4 -ometimes I think all the English speakers should be %ommitted to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people re%ite at a play and play at a re%ital4 -hip by tru%k and send %argo by ship4 *ave noses that run and feet that smell4 *ow %an a slim %han%e and a fat %han%e be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites4 ?ou have to marvel at the uni<ue luna%y of a language in whi%h your house %an burn up as it burns down, in whi%h you fill in a form by filling it out and in whi%h, an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not %omputers, and it refle%ts the %reativity of the human ra%e, whi%h, of %ourse, is not a ra%e at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. 1ne of the wonders of a "ombinatorial s stem is that it "an generate an open#ended set of ob2e"ts, ea"h with uni3ue properties. -hat distinguishes it from a blending s stem, in whi"h the properties of a mixture are an average of the properties of the ingredients, like red paint and white paint forming pink paint. In the "ombinatorial s stem underl ing "hemi"al "ompounds, a hundred#odd elements "ombine to form all the stuff in the universe ## ever solid, powder, li3uid, vapor, and goo. In geneti"s, 2ust four D0& bases "ombine to form the instru"tions for building 4as %enesis put it5 ever herb bearing seed, ever tree bearing fruit, and ever fish of the sea, fowl of the air, beast of the earth, and ever thing that "reepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life. In musi", a few do6en ke s on a piano "an produ"e ever melod and harmon in the Western idiom. In language, a hundred thousand words "an be "ombined b the rules of s ntax into senten"es that make up ever book that ever has been written or will be written, and to express ever effable human thought. Indeed the words themselves are produ"ts of a "ombinatorial s stem of vowels and "onsonants, made all the more powerful b alphabeti" writing. In 789: %alileo wrote,

,ut surpassing all stupendous inventions, what sublimit of mind was his who dreamed of finding means to "ommuni"ate his deepest thoughts to an other person, though distant b might intervals of pla"e and time; 1f talking with those who are in India< of speaking to those who are not et born and will not be born for a thousand or ten thousand ears< and with what fa"ilit , b the different arrangements of twent "hara"ters upon a page; -he other wondrous feature of a "ombinatorial s stem is the "ombinatorial explosion. -he same arithmeti" applied to language explains wh we will never run out of new things to sa . /uppose ou have ten "hoi"es for the word to begin a senten"e, ten "hoi"es for the se"ond word 4 ielding a hundred two#word beginnings5, ten "hoi"es for the third word 4 ielding a thousand three#word beginnings5, and so on. 4-en in fa"t is a good esimate of the number of word "hoi"es available to a t pi"al person at ea"h point in "omposing a meaningful senten"e.5 -he number of senten"es of twent words or less is 7=:= . a one followed b twent 6eros, that is, a hundred million trillion, or a hundred times the number of se"onds sin"e the birth of the universe. &s I mentioned, life itself is a "ombinatorial s stem, and that fa"t "hanges our understanding of our ver existen"e. In his re"ent book >nweaving the )ainbow, the biologist )i"hard Dawkins writes. We are going to die, and that makes us the lu"k ones. ?ost people are never going to die be"ause the are never going to be born. -he potential people who "ould have been here in m pla"e but who will in fa"t never see the light of da outnumber the sand grains of &rabia. @ertainl those unborn ghosts in"lude greater poets than Aeats, s"ientists greater than 0ewton. We know this be"ause the set of possible people allowed b our D0& so massivel ex"eeds the set of a"tual people. In the teeth of these stupef ing odds it is ou and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

It!s time on"e again to "onsider the "andidates for the annual /tella B B&wards. -he /tella!s are named after C7# ear#old /tella Diebe"k who B Bspilled "offee on herself and su""essfull sued ?"Donalds. -hat "ase B Binspired the /tella &wards for the most frivolous su""essful lawsuits in B Bthe >nited /tates. BB BB B B-he following are this ear!s E "andidates. BB

B B7. Aathleen )obertson of &ustin, -exas, was awarded FEC=,=== b a 2ur B Bof her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was B Brunning inside a furniture store. -he owners of the store were B Bunderstandabl surprised at the verdi"t, "onsidering the misbehaving B Blittle toddler was ?s. )obertson!s son. BB B B:. & 7G# ear#old @arl -ruman of Dos &ngeles won FEH,=== and medi"al B Bexpenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a *onda &""ord. ?r. B B-ruman apparentl didn!t noti"e there was someone at the wheel of the B B"ar when he was tr ing to steal his neighbor!s hub "aps. BB B B9. -erren"e Di"kson of ,ristol, Penns lvania, was leaving a house he had B B2ust finished robbing b wa of the garage. *e was not able to get the B Bgarage door to go up sin"e the automati" door opener was malfun"tioning. B B*e "ouldn!t re#enter the house be"ause the door "onne"ting the house and B Bgarage lo"ked when he pulled it shut. -he famil was on va"ation, and B B?r. Di"kson found himself lo"ked in the garage for eight da s. *e B Bsubsisted on a "ase of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dr dog food. B B*e sued the homeowner!s insuran"e "laiming the situation "aused him B Bundue mental anguish. -he 2ur agreed to the tune of FI==,===. BB B BH. Jerr Williams of Dittle )o"k, &rkansas, was awarded F7H,I== and B Bmedi"al expenses after being bitten on the butto"ks b his next door B Bneighbor!s beagle. -he beagle was on a "hain in its owner!s fen"ed ard. B B-he award was less than sought be"ause the 2ur felt the dog might have B Bbeen 2ust a little provoked at the time b ?r. Williams who was shooting B Bit repeatedl with a pellet gun. BB B BI. & Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pa &mber @arson of B BDan"aster, Penns lvania, F779,I== after she slipped on a soft drink and B Bbroke her "o"" x 4tailbone5. -he beverage was on the floor be"ause ?s. B B@arson had thrown it at her bo friend 9= se"onds earlier during an B Bargument. BB B B8. Aara Walton of @la mont, Delaware, su""essfull sued the owner of a B Bnight "lub in a neighboring "it when she fell from the bathroom window B Bto the floor and kno"ked out her two front teeth. -his o""urred while B B?s. Walton was tr ing to sneak out without pa ing her "he"k, awarded B BF7:,=== and dental expenses. BB B BE. -his ear!s favorite "ould easil be ?r. ?erv %ra6inski of 1klahoma B B@it , 1klahoma. ?r. %ra6inski pur"hased a brand new 9:#foot Winnebago B Bmotor home. 1n his first trip home, having driven onto the freewa , he B Bset the "ruise "ontrol at E= mph and "alml left the drivers seat to go B Binto the ba"k and make himself a "up of "offee. 0ot surprisingl , the

B B).(. left the road. -he owner!s manual did not sa that he "ouldn!t B Ba"tuall do this. -he 2ur awarded him F7,EI=,=== plus a new motor home. B B-he "ompan a"tuall "hanged their manuals on the basis of this suit, B B2ust in "ase there were an other "omplete morons bu ing their B Bre"reation vehi"les

Word Scramble!

&o""drnig to a rs"heear"h at @mabrigde >inervtis , it deosn!t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the oln iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit p"lae. -he rset "an be a total mses and ou "an sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. -ihs is b"useae the huamn mnid deos not raed erve lteter b istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. am6anig huh$

Word Scramble!

&o""drnig to a rs"heear"h at @mabrigde >inervtis , it deosn!t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the oln iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit p"lae. -he rset "an be a total mses and ou "an sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. -ihs is b"useae the huamn mnid deos not raed erve lteter b istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. am6anig huh$

Word Scramble!

&o""drnig to a rs"heear"h at @mabrigde >inervtis , it deosn!t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the oln iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit p"lae. -he rset "an be a total mses and ou "an sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. -ihs is b"useae the huamn mnid deos not raed erve lteter b istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. am6anig huh$

OK - Curious n!lish
Fri'ay # Friday, sexta#feira em inglJs, vem do alemKo antigo Fria 4deusa do amor5 L daeg 4dia5 do inglJs antigo. 0a verdade, trata#se de uma adaptaMKo do latim dies veneris 4dia de (Jnus5. Fria ou Frigg era a deusa nNrdi"a do amor, "orrespondente a (Jnus da mitologia romana, deusa da formosura, do amor e dos pra6eres. @oin"idJn"ia ou nKo, pare"e 3ue 2O na antigPidade a sexta#feira era dia do agito. Q ainda "urioso observar#se 3ue, "om ex"eMKo do portuguJs, a maioria das lRnguas o"identais usam nomes de deuses da mitologia romana para os dias da semana. -ambSm os planetas do sistema solar "arregam nomes de deuses romanos. (a)ette # gazette 4mesma ortografia em inglJs e fran"Js5 ou !ga6eta! em portuguJs, vem do italiano gazzetta, 3ue era o nome de uma pe3uena unidade monetOria do sS"ulo 78. >ma gazzetta era o preMo 3ue se "obrava em (ene6a do transeunte 3ue 3uisesse dar uma lida no 2ornal sem "omprO#lo. (rammar # o mesmo 3ue !gramOti"a! do portuguJs, estO presente no inglJs desde o sS"ulo 7H. & palavra vem do grego, tendo passado pelo latim, daR para o fran"Js e do fran"Js para o inglJs. Grammata em grego signifi"ava letras 4do alfabeto5. Para uma Spo"a em 3ue a maioria era analfabeta e a misteriosa arte de es"rever era uma Orea de "onhe"imento ex"lusiva dos pou"os es"olari6ados, a palavra assumiu um sentido de "oisa in"ompreensRvel, atS mesmo rela"ionada T magia negra. h%s*an' # husband 4marido5 estO ligado a house, pois vem do antigo nNrdi"o 4da +s"andinOvia5 hsbndi, "omposto de hs 4house # "asa5 L bandi 4habitante, morador5< ou se2a, a3uele 3ue existe ou 3ue habita uma "asa, tambSm provavelmente rela"ionado a bind 4unir, 2untar5, signifi"ando a3uele 3ue "om sua presenMa e trabalho, "onsolida a uniKo da famRlia. @onse3Pentemente esta palavra estO tambSm ligada T idSia de agri"ultura, pois na idade mSdia trabalho "onsistia predominantemente em plantar e "riar animais e a distinMKo entre !morador de um lugar! e !agri"ultor! nKo era muito "lara. Isto pode ser observado na palavra husbandry 4agri"ultura5. Mon'ay # o sentido etimolNgi"o de Monday 4segunda#feira5 S o de !dia da lua! (moon day), adaptado do latim lunae dies 3ue a"abou dando origem tambSm a lunes em espanhol, e Montag em alemKo.

+, # "onsiderado por muitos "omo o mais bem su"edido de todos os ameri"anismos usados ho2e no mundo, OK S tambSm uma das palavras 3ue sus"itam mais dUvidas e mistSrios 3uanto a sua origem. & teoria mais a"eita ho2e di6 3ue as ini"iais OK representam oll korrect, forma ortogrOfi"a 2o"osa de all correct 4tudo "erto5 usada no inR"io do sS"ulo 7G. OK aumentou em popularidade durante a "ampanha presiden"ial de 7CH=, ao ser usado "omo slogan do entKo "andidato ?artin (an ,uren "u2o apelido era 1ld Ainderhook. pl%m*er # o sRmbolo da 3uRmi"a para o elemento "humbo S Pb, do latim lumbum 4"humbo5. >ma ve6 3ue o en"anamento hidrOuli"o para distribuiMKo de Ogua nas edifi"aMVes era feito de "humbo desde os tempos de )oma atS hO pou"os anos atrOs, antes do advento dos "anos de P(@, nKo S de estranhar 3ue em inglJs, desde o sS"ulo 7H, a pessoa 3ue instala e "onserta en"anamentos "hame#se lumber 4en"anador5, literalmente, "humbador, a3uele 3ue lida "om "humbo. sa*ota(e # ou !sabotagem! vem do fran"Js sabot, 3ue signifi"a !taman"o!. & palavra surgiu a partir da revoluMKo industrial e aparentemente se originou do ato de trabalhadores grevistas e des"ontentes 3ue inten"ionalmente 2ogavam seus taman"os nas mO3uinas para "ausar danos e parali6aMVes. Q possRvel 3ue o termo este2a asso"iado tambSm ao ato desleixado de "aminhar ruidosamente, arrastando os taman"os. soap opera # soa o era 4telenovela5 S "omposto da palavra soa 4sabKo, sabonete5 L o era 4Npera5 e sua origem nKo S tKo antiga. 1 rOdioteatro a partir dos anos 9= e a televisKo a partir dos anos I= nos +>&, populari6aram os dramas melodramOti"os retratando situaMVes domSsti"as "otidianas. &3ueles programas da televisKo ameri"ana eram 4"omo o sKo ainda ho2e5 predominantemente no horOrio apNs o almoMo, e eram dirigidos prin"ipalmente ao pUbli"o feminino. te-t # ou !texto! vem do latim te!ere 4"onstruir, te"er5, "u2o parti"Rpio passado te!tus tambSm era usado "omo substantivo, e signifi"ava !maneira de te"er!, ou !"oisa te"ida!, e ainda mais tarde, !estrutura!. 'oi sN lO pelo sS"ulo 7H 3ue a evoluMKo semWnti"a da palavra atingiu o sentido de "te"elagem ou estruturaMKo de palavras", ou !"omposiMKo literOria!, e passou a ser usado em inglJs, proveniente do fran"Js antigo te!te. toilet # a palavra toilet 4vaso sanitOrio5 estO ligada a !toalha!, a !tJxtil!, e tambSm a !texto! do portuguJs. & origem S novamente o latim te!ere 4te"er5, 3ue por sua ve6 originou toile 4pano, toalha5 e toilette 4pe3uena toalha5 em fran"Js. 1 signifi"ado de toilette evoluiu para o ato de lavar#se, vestir#se e arrumar#se. fa6er a toalete. 'oi sN na metade do sS"ulo 7G 3ue nos +>& a palavra passou a ser usada "omo sinXnimo de lavatory 4pia ou vaso sanitOrio5.

.ncle "am / S um personagem representado em "ari"atura 3ue identifi"a o paRs e o governo dos +stados >nidos, "u2as ini"iais tambSm sKo >./. & origem de >n"le /am estO no inR"io do sS"ulo passado. 0a guerra de 7C7: entre +>& e Inglaterra, um dos forne"edores de "arne para o exSr"ito norte#ameri"ano era /amuel Wilson, tambSm "onhe"ido "omo >n"le /am. Yuando agentes do governo norte#ameri"ano mar"avam os barris de "arne em "onserva forne"idos por Wilson "om as ini"iais >/ para indi"ar propriedade do governo, as pessoas logo identifi"aram as ini"iais "om o apelido do forne"edor. 75 http.ZZwww.wordorigins.orgZindex.htm

0o word in the +nglish language rh mes with month , oran(e, sil0er, or p%rple.

Dreamt! is the onl +nglish word that ends in the letters !mt!. -he senten"e. !-he 3ui"k brown fox 2umps over the la6 dog! uses ever letter of the alphabet. -here are onl four words in the +nglish language whi"h end in !dous!. tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and ha6ardous. -here are two words in the +nglish language that have all five vowels in order. !abstemious! and !fa"etious.! & !1iffy! is an a"tual unit of time for 12133th of a secon'.

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