| || |
| || |
| || |
We occasionally still use the old positive meaning of the word "bully"
when congratulating somebody (sincerely or sarcastically) by saying
"Bully for you!" A century ago "bully" meant "good," "great."
That's why Theodore Roosevelt called the American presidency a "bully
pulpit," meaning that it provided him an outstanding platform from which
to preach his ideas. The expression is often misused by writers who
mistakenly think it has something to do with preaching at people in a
Thanks Princess. It was easier making people understand the proper usage of 'to'. Thanks :-)
The original expression (meaning "a lot"), both more polite and more
logical, is "boatload."
BUTT NAKED/BUCK NAKED
The standard expression is "buck naked," and the contemporary "butt
naked" is an error that will get you laughed at in some circles.
However, it might be just as well if the new form were to triumph.
Originally a "buck" was a dandy, a pretentious, overdressed show-off of
a man. Condescendingly applied in the US to Native Americans and black
slaves, it quickly acquired negative connotations. To the historically
aware speaker, "buck naked" conjures up stereotypical images of naked
"savages" or--worse--slaves laboring naked on plantations. Consider
using the alternative expression "stark naked."
-- Can we have a new thread where v can solve RCs, SCs a day/2 days once... That ll be useful practice....
Available on PM
hi princess i think you should seriously look into this will help us a lot
Originally Posted by Shree_OnTheGo
The popular phonetic spelling "buttox" ignores the fact that "buttocks"
(the traditional spelling) is a plural: one buttock, two buttocks.
These are probably confused with each other more often through haste
than through actual ignorance, but "by" is the common preposition in
phrases like "you should know by now." It can also serve a number of
other functions, but the main point here is not to confuse "by" with the
other two spellings: "'bye" is an abbreviated form of "goodbye"
(preferably with an apostrophe before it to indicate the missing
syllable), and "buy" is the verb meaning "purchase." "Buy" can also be a
noun, as in "that was a great buy." The term for the position of a
competitor who advances to the next level of a tournament without
playing is a "bye." All others are "by."
BY FAR AND AWAY/BY FAR, FAR AND AWAY
You could say that Halloween is by far your favorite holiday, or you can
say that it's far and away your favorite holiday; but if you combine the
two expressions and say "by far and away" you'll annoy some people and
puzzle others who can't figure out why it doesn't sound quite right.
"Cache" comes from the French verb "cacher," meaning "to hide," and in
English is pronounced exactly like the word "cash." But reporters
speaking of a cache (hidden hoard) of weapons or drugs often
mispronounce it to sound like cachet--"ca-SHAY"--a word with a very
different meaning: originally a seal affixed to a document, now a
quality attributed to anything with authority or prestige. Rolex watches
CALL THE QUESTION
This is more a matter of parliamentary procedure than of correct
English, but people are generally confused about what "calling the
question" means. They often suppose that it means simply "let's vote!"
and some even imagine that it is necessary to call for the question
before a vote may be taken. You even see deferential meeting chairs
pleading, "Would someone like to call for the question?"
But "calling the question" when done properly should be a rare
occurrence. If debate has dragged on longer than you feel is really
warranted, you can "call the question," at which time the chair has to
immediately ask those assembled to vote to determine whether or not
debate should be cut off or continue. The motion to call the question is
itself not debatable. If two-thirds of those voting agree that the
discussion should have died some time ago, they will support the call.
Then, and only then, will the vote be taken on the question itself.
Potentially this parliamentary maneuver would be a great way to shut
down windy speakers who insist on prolonging a discussion when a clear
consensus has already been arrived at; but since so few people
understand what it means, it rarely works as intended.
Chairs: when someone "calls the question," explain what the phrase means
and ask if that is what's intended. Other folks: you'll get further most
of the time just saying "Let's vote!"
CADDY-CORNER/CATTY-CORNER, CATER-CORNER, KITTY-CORNER
This expression, meaning "diagonally opposite," was formed from a
misspelling in English of the French word quatre ("four") prefixed to
"corner." Although the word has nothing to do with cats or kittens, in
various dialects all three spellings are acceptable: "catty," "cater" or
But unless you have somebody holding your golf clubs permanently
stationed in the corner of your room, you shouldn't use the spelling
Calling someone callous is a way of metaphorically suggesting a lack of
feeling similar to that caused by calluses on the skin; but if you are
speaking literally of the tough build-up on a person's hand or feet, the
word you need is "callused."
Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you
do call for them?
Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part 1
News-people constantly joke that the weather service is to blame for the
weather, so we shouldn't be surprised when they tell us that the
forecast "calls for rain" when what they mean is that it "predicts"
rain. Remember, wherever you live, the weather is uncalled for.
CALM, COOL, AND COLLECTIVE/CALM, COOL, AND COLLECTED
Unless you're living in an unusually tranquil commune, you wouldn't be
"calm, cool, and collective." The last word in this traditional phrase
is "collected," in the sense of such phrases as "let me sit down a
minute and collect my thoughts." If you leave out "cool" the last word
still has to be "collected."
Thanks princess. I usually get confused about the usage of 'bearin the brunt' and being the butt of all jokes'. U made it simpler
"Calvary," always capitalized, is the hill on which Jesus was crucified.
It means "hill of skulls." Soldiers mounted on horseback are cavalry.
CAN GOODS/CANNED GOODS
Is there a sign at your grocery store that says "can goods"? It should
say "canned goods."
CANADIAN GEESE/CANADA GEESE
"Canadian geese" would be any old geese that happen to be in Canada.
What people usually mean to refer to when they use this phrase is the
specific species properly called "Canada geese."
"Canon" used to be such a rare word that there was no temptation to
confuse it with "cannon": a large piece of artillery. The debate over
the literary canon (a list of officially-approved works) and the
popularity of Pachelbel's Canon (an imitative musical form related to
the common "round") have changed all that--confusion is rampant. Just
remember that the big gun is a "cannon." All the rest are "canons." Note
that there are metaphorical uses of "cannon" for objects shaped like
large guns, such as a horse's "cannon bone."
These two spellings are largely interchangeable, but by far the most
common is "cannot"; and you should probably use it except when you want
to be emphatic: "No, you can not wash the dog in the Maytag."
Heavy cloth, whether in the frame of a painting or on the floor of a
boxing ring, is canvas, with one S.
To survey ballots or voters is to canvass them, with two S's.
A "capitol" is almost always a building. Cities which serve as seats of
government are capitals spelled with an A in the last syllable, as
are most other uses of the word as a common noun. The only exceptions
are place names alluding to capitol buildings in some way or other, like
"Capitol Hill" in DC, Denver, or Seattle (the latter named either after
the hill in Denver or in hopes of attracting the Washington State
capitol building). Would it help to remember that Congress with an O
meets in the Capitol with another O?
Proper nouns (names of people and places: "Frederick," "Paris") and
proper adjectives ("French," "Biblical") must be capitalized. Many
people used to casual e-mail patterns have begun to omit capital letters
throughout their writing, even at the beginning of sentences when
writing in more formal contexts. Unless your correspondent is someone
that you know prefers the all-lower-case approach, to be taken seriously
you should take the trouble to hit that Shift key when necessary.
Particularly watch out for this sloppy habit in writing timed
examinations. A teacher who has devoted 20 years to the study of Chinese
art flinches when she sees her cherished subject demoted to "chinese."
Take Highway 1 south from Monterey to reach the charming seaside town of
Carmel, of which Clint Eastwood was formerly mayor. Dissolve sugar in a
little water and cook it down until the sugar turns brown to create
caramel. A nationwide chain uses the illiterate spelling
"Karmelkorn(TM)," which helps to perpetuate the confusion between these
"Carrots" are those crunchy orange vegetables Bugs Bunny is so fond of,
but this spelling gets misused for the less familiar words which are
pronounced the same but have very different meanings. Precious stones
like diamonds are weighed in carats. The same word is used to express
the proportion of pure gold in an alloy, though in this usage it is
sometimes spelled "karat" (hence the abbreviation "20K gold"). A caret
is a proofreader's mark showing where something needs to be inserted,
shaped like a tiny pitched roof. It looks rather like a French
circumflex, but is usually distinct from it on modern computer
keyboards. Carets are extensively used in computer programming. Just
remember, if you can't eat it, it's not a carrot.
A truck careening down the road is swerving from side to side as it
races along, whereas a truck careering down the road may be simply
traveling very fast. But because it is not often clear which meaning a
person intends, confusing these two words is not likely to get you into
Most people are comfortable referring to "caring parents," but speaking
of a "caring environment" is jargon, not acceptable in formal English.
The environment may contain caring people, but it does not itself do the
CAST IN STONE/CAST IN CONCRETE, CARVED IN STONE
People expressing flexibility say that their ideas or rules are "not
cast in concrete," meaning they have not hardened into rigidity. You
cast concrete in a mold by pouring it in and letting it set; so the
expression can also be "not set in concrete."
A similar expression is "not carved in stone" (like the Ten
People frequently mix these two expressions up and say things like "It's
not cast in stone." They may be influenced by the unrelated Christian
saying, "Don't cast [throw] the first stone."
CAST DISPERSIONS/CAST ASPERSIONS
"Aspersions" is an unusual word whose main meaning is "false or
misleading accusations," and its only common use is in the phrase "cast
aspersions." To disperse a crowd is to break it up and scatter it, which
perhaps leads some people to mistakenly associate "cast" ("throw") with
"disperse" but the expression is "cast aspersions."
People familiar with Joseph Heller's novel are irritated when they see
"Catch-22" used to label any simple hitch or problem rather than this
sort of circular predicament: you can't get published until you have an
agent, and you can't get an agent until you've been published. "There's
a catch" will do fine for most other situations.
By rkamdar in forum General Knowledge and Current Affairs
Last Post: 23-Aug-11, 10:54 AM
By TestFunda in forum CAT/IIM related discussion
Last Post: 17-Jun-10, 5:12 PM
By kkamat in forum User Resources
Last Post: 30-Oct-09, 7:52 PM
By kausi in forum User Resources
Last Post: 08-Aug-09, 6:30 PM
By random.walk in forum Fun Zone
Last Post: 26-Jun-09, 8:36 PM
| || |