Is it bring or take?

Lady Louise is waiting for the Editorial Assistant to bring her a snackee.

Our friend Reece Karas asked us to take on the question of “bring vs. take” in our language. According to Reece, two librarians were discussing this important controversy, with one librarian saying that “she is seeing (and hearing) people use take when they should use bring.”

Let’s think of bring or take as a type of transportation or location matter. By doing so, it is much less of a challenge. People bring things to you or to the place where you are located. However, you take things or people to a place away from you.

Here are a few examples:

You ask a waiter to bring extra bread to you. Later, you take the bill for your meal the cashier.

You take groceries to a sick friend. But your friend would say, “Meredith is bringing groceries to me so that I don’t have to go out in the cold.”

A courier from a lawyer’s office, for example, will bring important papers to your house. Then, you will take the papers back to the office once they are signed or to discuss the matter further.

We understand the confusion that bring vs. take causes, and we hope that this explanation will help clarify the question.

And thank you, Reece Karas, for asking the question and reading the blog!

 

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Myself as Noun: Right, wrong?

QuestionMarksIt is a curious thing that has happened in our society.

People are using the using the word “myself” as the subject of sentences — even important people, including the President of the United States. My blog isn’t a place for political commentary. However, I want to make the point that confusion goes all the way to the most important job in our nation.

No one should be using “myself,” which is a reflexive pronoun, in the place of a pronoun, which is used as the subject of a sentence.

Incorrect usage: “Cousin Dixie and myself are studying for our grammar exam.” WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. This usage will land us in trouble on our test.

Correct usage: “Cousin Dixie and I are studying for our grammar exam.” This usage probably will ensure that we get a special treat.

If in doubt, remove the other subject of the sentence. You would not say “Myself is studying for our grammar exam.” OUCH!

We have eight subject pronouns to use in sentences. These are I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they. These pronouns – only eight of them — are the action actors, so to speak, in a sentence. “I am going to play” or “we are returning the books to the library” or “they are taking a vacation.”

Reflexive pronouns used properly refer back to the subject of a sentence “I am treating myself to the cookies on the table when the Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, isn’t looking.” This is likely to land me in trouble even with good grammar usage.

Reflexive pronouns include the singular myself, yourself, himself, herself or itself, as well as the plural ourselves, yourselves or themselves.

Reflexive pronouns have one other important job: They are used as emphatic or emphasis pronouns — in other words, their use is to make a point about something.

“I myself will make the decision about when to remove the cookies from the table.”

This seems like a lot to know — and we haven’t tackled the misuse of “I, me and myself.” That’s a topic for another day.

As you listen to people speak in the world around you, on television or in movies, you probably will hear “myself” being used as a noun. It is likely that this misuse will hurt your ears as much it hurts mine.

Mom Karen and I are going for a walk now. I think this is wonderful! Cookies, later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wordy Wednesday: Flesh Out, Flush Out?

FleshFlush

It’s only the difference of a single vowel — e vs. u.

But the difference in  meaning is huge!

In many cases, it’s “flush out” that is misused. For example, someone might say “Charles needs to flush out the third chapter of his manuscript” when they really mean  “flesh out.”

“Flesh out” means to give something substance. In other words, you want to add more details or clarify the meaning — to “flesh out” a proposal or idea.

“Flush out” is used to describe forcing someone or something out of hiding or to clean something (usually by forcing water through a container). You might “flush out the birds” from a field or “flush out the paper clogging the sink.”

See how easy it is for me to simplify your speech!

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Wordy Wednesday: Fewer or Less?

FewerLess

The use of language can put us in a predicament or two at times.

And the words “fewer and less” can be troublesome.

Here is a simple chart, we hope, to help you have much less confusion!

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Wordy Wednesday: Yes, grammar matters!

A new survey finds that people searching for a new home are wary when they read ads with spelling and grammatical errors.

A new survey finds that people searching for a new home are wary when they read ads
with spelling and grammatical errors.

If you’ve emerged from winter hibernation, you probably have noticed “For Sale” signs dotting the spring landscape. Even if the actual first day of spring is days away, those selling houses and those wanting to buy houses know that this is the time for sellers and buyers to move forward with their relocation plans.

What would you think of a house that had “a walking closet” or that could be considered “a real germ”?

An interesting survey has emerged showing that grammar matters when people are searching the real estate listings. In fact, more than 43 percent of 1,291 people taking an online survey responded that they would be less inclined to tour a home if the online listing had spelling or grammatical errors.

Why, you might ask?

Potential buyers view these errors as belonging to someone who isn’t paying attention to detail. And that spells trouble for the seller.

To read more, visit http://goo.gl/x4rDMe.

It’s always a good idea to have someone else review the description of your home. That “walking closet” could leave in the middle of the night with all of your clothes and shoes! What a disaster that would be!

(Photo illustration by hyena realty, freedigitalphotos.net)

 

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Thoughtful Thursday: In Moderation …

Moderation

It has come to our attention,  via www.InsideHigherEducation.com, that some very learned people have done a study on the use of adverbs and adjectives and how these basic tools of writing may affect our ability to learn.

We’ll let you decide if this applies to you — or if you agree with the study’s findings. However, it does seem that much like everything else in life, moderation rules.

To know more about this complicated issue, visit: http://goo.gl/kihZiC.

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