Monday, May 23, 2011

And a fourth English thing

This replaces an earlier post that did not publish with the parenthetical material at the end.

While we're at it (see earlier pose on three things about English), here is Mark Liberman on Language Log about the distinction between comprised and composed and the guidance not to use "comprised of" (maintained in the AP Stylebook, though a new edition is due out any day, so we'll see what changes abound).

Not surprisingly, he pretty much traces "comprised of" back several hundred years and suggests this is one best left for dead.

(An earlier post to which he refers also drives a stake through that shibboleth that you can't begin a sentence with "and" or "but.")

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