The Grammar Logs
#608

logo
Question

My question is:

How are "out" and "languidly" used in this?

"The black poodle stretched out languidly on the snow-white carpet."

My first impluse was to categorize them both as a prepostional phrase, since "out" is a preposition, but both words also seem to work as adverbs. So, adverb(s), preposition, or what? Thanks!

Source of Question, Date of Response
Unknown # Thu, Jun 24, 2004
Grammar's Response

"Out" is, indeed, a preposition, but in this case, it's combined with the verb "stretched" to make one of those so-called phrasal verbs. "Stretch out" means to extend, etc., so I'd say the preposition, in this case, becomes part of the verb. The adverb, "languidly," then modifies the verb, "stretch out."


Question

Thank you again for a terrific site. We use it as our grammar source for all of our copyediting. Here's a question I couldn't find the answer to:

In the text of a book, when referring to a previous or upcoming chapter, do you capitalize the C in chapter? For example, when the chapter heading is shown as "Chapter 6," ›"In Chapter 6 we will discuss the proper capitalization for chapter headings." Our confusion is that we are referring to a specific chapter, where the word "Chapter" is a part of the official title.

Source of Question, Date of Response
Unknown # Thu, Jun 24, 2004
Grammar's Response

You would write "read the next/first chapter," but "read Chapter Seventeen," etc. I'm not sure why this is. It seems in conflict with rules about writing the lower-case "room," for instance, in "we'll meet in room 216." But the capitalized "Chapter" in "read Chapter Two" (but not in "read the second chapter") seems to be the accepted convention.


Question

For time zones, is it correct to write Eastern Time (E.T.) or Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.)?

Source of Question, Date of Response
Unknown # Thu, Jun 24, 2004
Grammar's Response

People usually leave out the periods in abbreviations like this: EST (Eastern standard time), CST (Central standard), MST (Mountain), and PST (Pacific). When daylight saving time is in effect, you can use EDT (Eastern daylight time), CDT (Central daylight time), MDT (Mountain daylight time), and PDT (Pacific daylight time). When you're referring to a time that's not going to change throughout the year, it's perfectly acceptable to remove reference to "standard" and "dayliight" and use, simply, ET, CT, MT, and PT. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are in the Atlantic standard time zone (AST) and Hawaii is in the Hawaiian-Aleutian time zone (HST). Most of Alaska in the Alaska time zone (four hours behind EST), which is referred to as YST for what used to be called the Yukon time zone. Alaska's Aleutian and St. Lawrence islands are in HST.

Authority: The Gregg Reference Manual by William A. Sabin. 9th Edition. McGraw-Hill: New York. 2001. Used with the consent of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. p. 146.


Question

When the word "compare" is used as a noun, it is most often used with either "beyond" or "without" (e.g., "beyond compare").› Can "compare" also be used as a noun with the word "no," such as in the phrase, "there is no compare ..."?

Source of Question, Date of Response
Kailua, Hawaii # Thu, Jun 24, 2004
Grammar's Response

No, the noun uses of "compare" are limited to literary expressions such as "beyond compare," "without compare," or "past compare." I can find no evidence of other uses. Y0u'd want "comparison," as in "There is no comparison. … "


—  17 January 2005   —

The recording of GRAMMARLOGS was suspended for nearly four months while I began my struggle with brain cancer. After several rounds of chemotherapy and a long bombardment of radiation, I'm going to try to return to the business of responding to grammar and usage quries and posting the most interesting and instructive questions here. If illness intervenes again, the Grammarrlogs will, again, be suspended — quite possibly without notice.


— CWD
Question

Which of the following 2 options is more correct in writing a formal letter?

  • 1) I wish to express my disappointment and dissatisfaction....

  • Or
  • 2) I would express my disappointment and...
Source of Question, Date of Response
Abu Dhabi, UAE # Sat, Jan 22, 2005
Grammar's Response

You're not going to give me a "none of the above" option? They are both wordy expressions. It would be much better if you simply began by expressing your disappointment and dissatisfaction. Or begin by descfibing your excitement at receiving a product in the mail — and then tell how disappointed you were when you discover the product is severely deficient (and by telling your reader in what way(s) the product just doesn't measure up. When you back off your disappointment with phrrases wlike "I wish to expess" and "I would express," your disappointment (and righteous anger) is deflated before it even begins.


Question

What is the "simple subject" in the following sentance:

All of the meals Brenda prepared were spicy.
Source of Question, Date of Response
Gallipolis, Ohio # Thu, Jan 27, 2005
Grammar's Response

We eliminate the predicate, "were spicy" and the modifying clause "{'that] Brenda prepared," and we're left with the simple subject "All" (which is then modified by the prepositional phrase, "of the meals." It would not be incorrect, however, to call "all of the meals" the simple subject. Frankly, I"ve never been convinced of the usefulness of the concept.


Question

Do you have an opinion concerning the use of› and as verbs in formal, academic writing?› Of instead of as a noun?

Examples:› The poet references D.H. Lawrence . . . ; in the following quote . . . ; the author introspects . . .

The American Heritage College Dictionary does list as an informal substitute for quotation, but makes no usage suggestions re .

Thanks for a second opinion!

Source of Question, Date of Response
Richmond, Virginia # Fri, Jan 28, 2005
Grammar's Response

Some people still hold strong opinions against using "quote" as a substitute for "the noun "quotation." Personally, I think that's a long lost battle. Using "reference" as a verby (meaning, approximately, refer to) is a voguish abomination, and students who insist on that usage should be flogged. Before today, I have never seen "instrospect" used as a verb (meaning something like "think" or "ruminate," I presume), and I can only hope it is many long days before I see it used that way again.


Question

What's the proper grammar: matriculate "to" a school or matriculate "at" a school?

Thanks!

Source of Question, Date of Response
CAmbridge, Massachusetts # Fri, Jan 28, 2005
Grammar's Response

If you do a Google search for "matriculate," I think you'll find that the word is used often to say that a student has matriculated TO or enrolled IN a specific program.


Question
I need to know, if it does exist, the difference between OUT LOUD and ALOUD and when to use each one.
Source of Question, Date of Response
Stte College, Pennsylvania # Fri, Jan 28, 2005
Grammar's Response

"Out loud" is simply the colloquial equivalent of "aloud." Use "aloud" in all but the most casual of settings.

From Garner's Modern American Usageby Bryan Garner. Copyright 2003 by Bryan A. Garner. Published by Oxford University Press, Inc., www.oup-usa.org, and used with the gracious consent of Oxford University Press.


Question

Is "has" or "have" appropriate here:

Are you one of the four million people who ________› gum disease?
Source of Question, Date of Response
Evergreen, Colorado # Sun, Jan 30, 2005
Grammar's Response

If we rework this sentence into "Of the four million people who HAVE gum disease, are you one?" it might be easier to see why the plural verb is appropriate.


 


#Previous Grammar Log

#Next Grammar Log

#Index of Grammar Logs

#Guide to Grammar and Writing