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Word Games: Daresay

Hi, all! Crazy little thing that you might not know: daresay is one word. Yes, that’s right.   From Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged: ——————— transitive verb : venture to say : think probable—used in pres. 1st singular intransitive verb : agree,suppose—used in pres. 1st singular Origin of DARESAY Middle English (I) dar sayen I venture to say ...

Grammar Bite: Pronoun Antecedents

It’s important to “reset” your pronouns. Pronouns are really versatile, but they take on the closest previous noun. So if you write something like this, your sentence may be misinterpreted: Lucy walked over to our group and introduced herself. I looked at my friend Sally and raised a brow, then reached out to shake her ...

Grammar Bite: Showing Progressive Action

A quick note today about verb tenses in a particular construction.  If you have a sentence similar to this one: She finished cleaning the kitchen when the doorbell rang. You need to have the first part of the sentence be an “older tense” (past perfect, in this case). The reason is that there’s an unspoken ...

Style Question: Names of Dances

This one is a doozy and it’s not really covered in most style guides, so with the help of some friends and using my amazing powers of LOGIC!, I came up with the following: When talking about the title of a dance, treat it as you would a proper noun, if it’s a specific dance ...

Grammar Bite: Collective Nouns

American English treats collective nouns (group, band, committee, family, etc.) as a singular noun for purposes of subject-verb agreement, assuming everyone in the group is doing the same thing. So you’d say something like this: The family is going to the park. if localizing for American English. On the other hand, you’d say The family ...