Monday, October 08, 2007

Correct Use of Words

I have always known, as a parapsychological phenomenologist, the singular to be "phenomenon," and the plural, "phenomena." I believe that, outside of some rather extraordinary poetic or prosaic usages, this is still the rule that applies in ordinary (everyday) English writing.

Re the quotes at the end of sentences, I am aware that, literally, a period, for example, might not be technically a part of a quote. But for me, it looks, and feels, so much better to include the punctuation within the quotes. The jws teach that the Kingdom returned 'invisibly' in 1914." is somehow so much more satisfying than, "The jws teach that the kingdom returned 'invisibly' in 1914". With the period on the outside, it as if the sentence is hanging there, waiting to be wrapped up; no
closure. The inclusion of punctuation is general standard usage in many, if not most, books and articles.

I guess that this proves that we can't all, or always, be literalists!:) But my main pet peeve, since we are discussing correctness, is the virtually ubiquitous mispronunciation of "processes."

The word is simply pronounced "pros-esses," with a short "O," exactly as it looks. But there is this pseudo-intellectuallism that is quite popular that renders it "pros-eseez," as if it were pluralized in the same way as "crisis," "diagnosis," etc. The word does not fall into this category. This displays, not erudition, but ignorance.

Also, bitch number 2: If "2007" is a number (quantity), it is "two thousand seven." You can have "two thousand seven cars on a lot, and no one might know the year-models." For, as a date, 2007 is correctly read "twenty-oh-seven." How our grandchildren are going to get a good laugh out of this one!

Meanwhile, these traversities make a logophile grimace, and then laugh. Human communication is so very flawed at its best!

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