Many thanks to those of you who resisted the temptation to whip out your electronic professors and simply look up the answers to the questions posed by my recent Word Fun post. It was great fun reading your legitimate guesses – some educated, some hilarious – and believe me, mine were more off the wall than yours.
I fear that we’ve entered the age of relying on instant info at the drop of a click rather than depending on our rusty ole pals, memory and reasoning, to come up with answers. So if you did indeed take a stab at it without cheating, thanks for playing!
Here are the answers:
My newly discovered word, solipsistic, means self-centered to a fault; unable to see any point of view but your own. As in “My narcissistic ex proved he was solipsistic when he gave me a Bundt pan and a boxed cake mix for my birthday.”
- effect/affect: cause to happen vs. to act upon
- whose/who’s: possessive of who as in “Whose retainer is in my soup?” vs. relative pronoun that could be replaced with “who is,” as in “John is a guy who’s totally solipsistic.”
- further/farther: related to distance vs. a definition of degree (I learned this oh-so-helpful tidbit from the riveting “Are you challenging me?” scene (you can Google this famous movie clip but I really recommend seeing the whole movie twenty times like I have) in the AWESOME flick Finding Forester – a must-see for every fan of literature and how a writer is made despite the odds against him).
- then/than: at a particular time (“To make cookies, first you mix the batter then add chocolate chunks)” vs. comparison (“I’d rather have chocolate than broccoli any day”).
- insure/ensure: to make certain, often by payment – as in providing insurance – vs. to bring about.
- its/it’s: same as whose/who’s above (sorta): “The poem is lovely in its simplicity” vs. “It’s a lovely poem” (can substitute “it is”).
- anxious/eager: anticipating with an element of fear (“She anxiously awaited the medical test results”) vs. anticipating with an element of excitement (“He eagerly shoved the Hershey bar into his drooling mouth”).
The placement of the comma is the difference in expressing gratitude to unrelated individuals and declaring their shocking relationship:
“I’d like to thank my parents, the Pope, and Mother Teresa” vs. “I’d like to thank my parents, the Pope and Mother Teresa.”
Ellipsis: the “three dots” at the end of a sentence indicating something else follows and you (the reader) are to fill in the implication (“If it looks like a bird and chirps like a bird …”). Plural is ellipses. Or is that are ellipses??? Sigh. English can be mind-blowing.
So tell me, BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever) – what’s you’re grammar pet peeve? (Did you catch mine in the previous sentence?)