‘Dewey defeats Truman’: why headlines matter

Dewey-Defeats-Truman

In honor of Presidents Day weekend, I’m going to blog about my favorite president: Harry Truman. Harry Truman was a stand-up guy. He grew up working on his parents’ farm, he served in World War I, he was a judge, he was a U.S. senator, he was vice president of 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…

Who cares about the Oxford comma?

The Oxford comma. Not just the title of a Vampire Weekend song, it’s the pesky piece of extraneous grammar that sits before the conjunction in a list. For example, in the phrase “apples, oranges, and bananas,” the Oxford comma is the comma preceding “and.” But is it necessary? While some Read More…

Pluralizing with apostrophe’s

Perhaps you read the title of this article and asked yourself, “This person is a copy editor?” Or maybe you thought, “The apostrophe’s what? What does it possess? Where is the noun?” Story of my life. Sure, we always point out improper uses of “your” and “their,” but those debates — though Read More…

Who says blondes have more fun?

I was on a ski trip recently with a friend and her family when her mother got a call about a recent break-in at their house. Maybe it was the shock that caused her father to utter these words, but as soon as he said, “Oh no, a robbery!” the Read More…

Apostrophes: pesky little critters

Autocorrect has gotten too confident in its abilities, and I do not like it one bit. Its greatest crime? When it changes my “its” to “it’s” or “were” to “we’re.” Sure, I can’t expect my phone to read my mind and know which one I’m trying to use, so I’ll Read More…

Grammar, I choose you

When I was a kid, I, like many other unfortunate youths in America, lost my soul to Pokemon. I spent countless hours playing my Game Boy Advance, swindled my friends out of their holographic Pokemon cards and meticulously read guide books for whatever game I was playing at the time. Read More…

For the sake of continuity

I love tutoring statistics at the Student Learning Center, but it admittedly gets frustrating sometimes. And no, I’m not talking about the inevitable frustration that builds when students simply don’t understand concepts or ask for the same clarification seven times in a row. (Though I do sometimes like to believe Read More…

Upside down over idioms

Just a thought: Does it bother anyone else that to be “up for” and “down for” something mean the same thing? From a couple of quick Google searches, it seems the former is more established as a proper English idiom (though, to be fair, I am defining “proper” as not Read More…