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Rants about the state of our poor, abused tongue.

  1. English for RPGs – Part 14

    I was reading a description of a place where it was stated that the region was “hundreds of square miles on every side.” The square mile is a unit of area. That's the surface covered by the rectangle. The sides are miles long (miles being a unit of distance or length).

    The plural of manservant is menservants.

    I'm not quite sure about this one. “Different than” feels wrong to me, I would use “different from” instead. “Than” is used to make comparisons, but merely marking ...

    Updated 12-18-2009 at 08:35 PM by TAROT (Category)

  2. English for RPGs – Part 13


    buck (adv) completely
    butt (n) the end of something (esp. the thicker end)

    To say someone is stark naked, the expression is buck naked. (Though I'm not sure for how much longer.)


    die (v) to cease to live: died, dying
    dye (v) to change the colour of: dyed, dyeing

    Before you die, do you have any last words?
    I was so embarrassed, I could have died.
    The weavers were planning to dye the ...
  3. English for RPGs - Index

    Well, it’s getting to the point where I’m wondering, “Have I done this one already?” So, I’m making a list of what has been done, where it is, and what still needs to be done.

    Link to Preamble.......Link to Part 01..........Link to Part 02..........Link to Part 03
    Link to Part 04..........Link to Part 05..........Link to Part 06..........Link to Part 07
    Link to Part 08..........Link to Part 09..........Link to Part 10..........Link to Part 11
    Link to Part 12.......... ...

    Updated 12-19-2009 at 10:35 AM by TAROT (Update to Part 14)

  4. English for RPGs – Part 12

    Another phrase that twigs me the wrong way is “one of the only.” (Also, “among the only.”) If the person or object is not a singular and is merely a rarity, then “one of the few” sounds much better to me.

    I saw the phrase “painted into a corner” used where “neatly categorized” would have fit the context. To paint someone into a corner is to trap them or limit their options. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe “pigeonholed” was in an earlier draft.

    OF v. 'VE
  5. English for RPGs – Part 11

    On the stylistic side, I've found another word that I dislike on principle. Proverbial. If you're going to trot out the hoary old chestnuts, there's no need to announce, “Look! A cliche!” (This probably wouldn't have bothered me as much if it hadn't been used three times in two pages. Any word that is obviously an author's pet can become quickly annoying.)


    altar (n) an elevated religious structure
    alter (v) to change

    He was left standing ...

    Updated 12-18-2009 at 08:05 PM by TAROT (More examples)

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