On prepositions

Let’s be honest: Prepositions are perplexing. As the words that describe the relationship between other words in a sentence, prepositions are oftentimes regarded as the underbelly of the simple sentence, the godless glue that holds the otherwise thankless words in their proximity from the looming brink of irrelevance.
Read More…

A healthy appetite for grammar

When was the last time you heard someone use the word “healthful” in everyday conversation? The correct answer should be: “I don’t pay attention to random shit like that, so I’m really not sure.” But fortunately for you, I do notice these types of grammar patterns, so I can confidently
Read More…

Ordering your adjectives

Word order matters. Most people don’t think about it, but there is usually a specific order adjectives must appear in. For example, “the brown old big house” just doesn’t have the right ring — “the big old brown house” sounds much better. So what exactly is the rule for ordering
Read More…

From a humbled copy editor

I have a confession. I almost emailed a GSI improperly using “your” in place of “you’re.” Similar to the distinction between “there,” “their” and “they’re,” the difference between these words’ usage is remarkable, yet many people often misuse them. Thankfully, I caught my error before sending the email. I then
Read More…

New slang

Languages are moody. Not moody-like-my-mom moody — nothing is moody-like-my-mom moody. The mood of a language refers to how the inflection of its verb reflects an attitude toward a statement. One mood is the subjunctive, which reflects hypothetical statements such as, “If the subject of this blog post were more
Read More…

On reading to right and reading to read

As an intended double major in English and history and quite the humanities aficionado in general, it would be safe to say that I end up having to read much more than the average teenager. During my senior year of high school, I took an array of electives every trimester
Read More…

A hella annoying expression

Recently, I was asked if, as a Bay Area native, I liked to use the word “hella.” I replied with an emphatic negative. My friends laughingly responded that they could never imagine me using the word, apparently deeming my vocabulary too conservative for such an expression. Little did they know,
Read More…

I could care less about grammar

Here at the copy desk, I’m confident we can all count ourselves among the ranks of the world’s grammar enthusiasts. Nothing rustles my jimmies quite like seeing a misused “there,” “their” or “they’re.” And whenever someone writes “could of” when they really mean “could have,” I cringe so hard that
Read More…

The importance of proofreading

After contemplating, outlining and writing an essay or organizing and formatting your resume, the last thing you want to do is start from the beginning and proofread the entire document for silly typos. You think to yourself, “It’s fine, I didn’t mistype ‘public’ or leave strange letters stranded between words.”
Read More…

A whole new word

What do you get when you mix an international student from China and a copy editor at The Daily Californian? You get my room, a strange linguistic concoction that somehow works. My roommate, of course, is the international student. English isn’t her first language, so she’s prone to many a
Read More…