Tag Archives: English usage

Notes of Passivization

One construction students of the English language inevitably encounter in their course of study is the conversion of an active sentence into a passive one (passivization), e.g.: John bought a car. (active) –>  A car was bought by John. (passive) … Continue reading

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The Plural(s) of Asparagus

In a recent post, I had originally mentioned asparagus/asparagi as an example of hypercorrection due to the common Latin pluralization rule of –us –> –i .  However, from further investigation I’m not so sure that asparagus/asparagi is actually so “wrong” after … Continue reading

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Pluralizing Greek-Imported Nouns in Modern English

What’s the plural of octopus? Everybody I’ve asked recently (about ten native speakers in the last month) has replied with either “octopuses” or both  “octopuses” and “octopi.”  I must confess, I would have probably answered with “octopi,” if it weren’t … Continue reading

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List of Endangered Irregular English Verbs

When I mentioned to a colleague of mine that I had planned to compile an endangered verbs list he beamed, “Great! We shall also set up a reserve just for them. But, I don’t think I could say the same … Continue reading

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