QUESTION The word is SOURCE
First question: how come this word is often used as a verb, like we source..., when in the Webster dictionary this is only refer to as a noun?
Second question: a thing is possible to be a SOURCE OF something, or a thing FROM this SOURCE, but is it possible to have a thing SOURCE FOR something?
Thanks in advance
SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Taiwan, ROC ___ Tuesday, May 26, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE According to the World Wide Web edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Tenth Edition, the word source has been used as transitive verb since the late fifties. Now that doesn't mean we have to like it (and I certainly don't), but there it is. (That dictionary, by the way, leans heavily toward being more descriptive than prescriptive, so it's relatively liberal in what it records as acceptable.) I find even more objectionable the use of "out-sourced," which means (I think) the use of a resource outside of one's immediately available cache of resources.
QUESTION None of the students KNOWS OR
None of the students KNOW
I admit TELLING the truth OR
I admit TO TELL the truth
SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Valladolid, Spain ___ Tuesday, May 26, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE "None" can be either singular or plural, depending on context. We usually mean it as the singular -- not one, but it's possible to use it as a plural: "None of the students have done their work.
We can either admit something or we can admit to something. However, that something is going to be a noun (or a gerund), not a verb. So we could either "admit telling the truth" or "admit to telling the truth." (A strange thing to have to admit to, by the way.)
QUESTION Are there specific rules for the use of "that" in sentences like the following:If you decide that you don't want to listen to the message, simply press three.When is it okay to omit THAT and when is it necessary to use it? SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Southlake, Texas ___ Tuesday, May 26, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I don't think there are any specific rules about this -- except that you don't want to omit that when leaving it out can create an ambiguous or clumsy sentence. In the sentence that you create, for instance, leaving out the that creates what I regard as a clumsy construction: "If you decide you. . . ." Frequently, though, when a noun clause is introduced by that, we can leave out the word: "I know thatthis is a common practice in Pakistan." When in doubt, though, leave it in.
Authority: The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers by Chris M. Anson and Robert A. Schwegler. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.: New York. 1997. 365.
QUESTION Do these sentences have the same meaning?
Thanks in advance
- A source of precious gem
- A source for precious gem
SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Taiwan, ROC ___ Wednesday, May 27, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE First, let's change "gem" to "gems." We could talk about a particular kind of gem, but I think we mean the plural here, even if if they are all the same kind. As far as of/for is concerned, I think most writers would nearly always choose "of," but "for" is certainly acceptable. There is an abandoned mine near my home that used to be a source for garnets. [Actually, that's true.] Frankly, I'm having a hard time defining the difference.
QUESTION Home or House ? Which one is appropriate? Why?
- Does Tom bring his toys to his friend's house?
- Does Tom bring his toys to his friend's home?
SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Hong Kong ___ Wednesday, May 27, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE We would use house in that context. The word home generally has more of an emotional tone to it. When we say "Welcome to our home!" we're asking you to enjoy our hospitality, our neighborliness, our friendliness, as well as the physical structure. When we say "I'm going over to Harvey's house." we're simply saying that we're going over to that particular structure. (Well, it's more than that, but you get the idea, I hope.) There's an old folk-saying: "It takes a heap of lovin' to make a house a home."
QUESTION Which form of the indetermintaed article -- a or an -- is correct to use BEFORE a word beginning with u? It was my understanding one should use an before a noun beginning with a vowel, but because U can have more than one sound I would like to make sure I am correct in my assumption.
Thank you for your help.
SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Oak Ridge, Tennessee ___ Wednesday, May 27, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE If the u-word begins with a "yoo" sound, we would use a before it: a uniform, a utility, a union matter, a united front, a ubiquitous aroma. If the u-word begins with an "uh" sound, we would use an before it: an undetermined time, an ugly mess, an unpleasant experience. Get the idea?
QUESTION I've seen both, but which of the following is better?
Does it change when you say, for example,
- He is a two-year-old.
- He is a two-year old.He drinks two-year-old scotch.(adjective instead of noun.)
Thanks. Grammar Rules! Get it? ;-D
SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Boston, Massachusetts ___ Wednesday, May 27, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Use the hyphen between all the elements of a compound modifier or noun like that: He is a two-year-old and he drinks two-year-old scotch. When the modifier comes after the thing modified, the hyphens disappear: This scotch is two years old. See the section on Compound Words.
Authority: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed. U of Chicago P: Chicago. 1993.
QUESTION If the subject of the sentence is plural, does the object have to be plural as well? For example,
Which of the statements below are correct?
- They wrote a letter.
- They wrote lettters.
- Each of they wrote a letter.
- Each of they wrote letters.
- They collectively wrote a letter.
- They collectively wrote letters.
SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION New York, New York ___ Wednesday, May 27, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE No, it doesn't. There's nothing wrong with either of your first two sentences. However, as you have suggested, there is the possibility of an ambiguity. Do you mean that they each wrote a letter, or they collectively wrote one letter? The plural object might clarify that. Change "they" to "them" and there's nothing wrong with the sentences in the next group of four. In #4, each individual wrote more than one letter; in #5, together, they wrote only one.
QUESTION Reported Speech SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates ___ Wednesday, May 27, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You've asked the shortest question yet! If you mean what I call "Silent Speech," then there's not much to say. 8-) There's a brief paragraph on Silent Speech in the section on quotation marks. If that doesn't answer your question, please get back to me -- with a somewhat more specific question.
QUESTION The page listing references for the research paper is called? SOURCE & DATE OF QUESTION Mobile, Alabama ___ Wednesday, May 27, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE If you are using the Modern Language Association style of documentation, it's called the Works Cited page; if you're using the American Psychological Association style of documentation, it's called References. If you're using some other method of documentation, I don't know.
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