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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) August 30, 2001


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This week Meryl Evans continues her quest to squash out glaring grammar gotchas on the Web with "Confusing Word Couples." These problematic sweethearts like "anxious & eager" and "who & whom" are commonly misused and Meryl is here to be your personal word marriage counselor. Comfortable? Good, then let's proceed.

http://www.webreference.com *- link to us today http://www.webreference.com/new/ *- newsletter home

New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. FEATURE: EGGads! Confusing Word Couples 2. OTHER VOICES: * Cookies in Perl * DOCTYPE Explained 3. NET NEWS: * Fewer dot-bombs means worst is over? * Jackson can't make market woes "Beat It"

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. FEATURED ARTICLE: EGGads! Confusing Word Couples

Are you anxious to understand when to use compliment or complement? Maybe eager would be a more appropriate word to describe your feeling about learning the difference. Look no further than this word marriage counselor.

When I was a young'un, a tutor taught me the difference between "imply" and "infer." It surprised me that people confused the two terms since I thought it was easy to tell the difference. Yet, I've always struggled to get "lie" and "lay" straight. Instead of figuring out which to use, I take the easy route and find another word to use.

>Anxious Anxiety and Eager Excited

Are you anxious about seeing your in-laws? That depends. Do you like them or not? Most people I know are "anxious" when it comes to in-laws or as they say, "outlaws." Anxious is not the same thing as eager. It means you're worried or uneasy. Think about "anxiety," a rarely confused word and how it's similar to "anxious." Making the association between the two words should help you remember that when you're excited about something, you're eager, not anxious. You're always excited when you see the grammar articles on WebReference.com, right? RIGHT!?!?! Don't make me feel anxious about your answer.

>Compliments on This Article Eagerly Accepted

I like compliments, don't you? Well, of course you do! We all love to get positive feedback about anything and everything we do and that's why you use compliment with an "I" as in I like it!

Complement with an "e" extends or completes something. Please email compliments on this article, which complements the WebReference grammar series.


What grammar series, you ask? Hey, go back and check out the other five articles and accompanying references. After you get done with those, come visit my Web site at http://www.Meryl.net. Thanks for allowing me to sneak in that shameless plug.

>Yes, I Am Implying This Is a Great Article

When I suggest something to you, I imply. When you read this article and assume or deduce, you infer. "I" and "imply" rhyme. I am implying that if you remember the rhyme you'll always know the difference between "imply" and "infer." Are you able to "infer" that? If not, you're "in fer it!"

>I Am Going To Lie Down for This Paragraph

I dread writing this one. I admit struggling with lie and lay except when it comes to accusing people of "lying" about my article by discussing how bad it is. I encourage telling the truth, which is why I would never succeed as a lawyer. Meryl, stop with the old lawyer jokes!

I apologize and I'll stop avoiding lie and lay. Stop threatening me with your mouse and put it down! Since "put" can be used, "lay" is the right word to use. Personally, I'll stick with "put." Lay means "to place" and an object follows it. Human beings are not objects, so when you "put" down on your bed use "lie." Obviously, "put" does not work here; therefore "lay" isn't the right choice. Lie means, "to recline."

Present tense looks easy to remember. But, it gets worse. * Lie (to recline) - lay (past tense) - lying (adjective) * Lay (to place) - laid (past tense) - laying (adjective) * Lie (untruthful) - lied (past tense) - lying (adjective) * Flatter (adore - hint, hint) - flattered (past tense) - flattering (adjective)

To date, I have not found a trick to remember all of this without looking it up. If someone by miracle has, please send me your secret! If it works, I'll add you to the distinguished EGG membership list! No, I am not implying you'll get an egg on your face, it means you're an Enlightened Grammar Geek.

>Who Is on First. Who? Who!

First of all, who would name a kid "Who," "What," or "Naturally?" No more avoiding "who" and "whom," my other problem children nor messing with Abbott and Costello's routine. Could we talk about hoo instead? Here is my book on owls. No, I am not going to satisfy your perversion by discussing Hooters.

When you do something to someone... whom is the recipient of that something. What a tangled web I weave. "Who" is the subject and "whom" has something done to it. We can use the "put" trick with "who" by using "he." I'm sure you hear lamaze breathing jokes or "hee hee hooooo, hee hee hoooo" sounds. Use this to associate "he" and "who." Far-fetched? Maybe. Since both end in "m," it'll be easier to remember the "whom" and "him" pair.

"Who" went to the store? "He" went to the store.

She saw "whom" at the plastic surgeon's office? She saw "him" at the plastic surgeon's office. Dallas Cowboy fans, replace "him" with "Jerry Jones."

Who is speaking at the conference? (She is speaking at the conference).

To whom am I speaking? (You can rephrase to give an answer - I am speaking to her). In this case, the pronoun is an OBJECT of the "to."

Rearrange the words until it becomes clear to you. For example: Who/whom did you give it to? Rearrange it - "To whom did you give it?" Here are some links to peruse:

http://www.io.com/~hcexres/tcm1603/acchtml/gram2.html#procase http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/whoVwhom.html http://ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/pronouns.html#who

>Will Stationery Cease to Exist?

The arrival of e-mail and its continuous growth has probably negatively impacted the stationery business. E-mail has stolen the "e" from stationery, the thing that your mama made you write on for thank you notes. Has it been that long that you don't know what I am talking about? It's fancy paper for writing letters, folding them, putting them into envelopes, licking the envelope (yuck!), licking (again!) the stamp, addressing the envelope, and mailing it. If you still don't know what I am talking about, I have a typewriter I'd love to sell to you.

Stationery's spouse is "stationary," which means immobile or not moving. This article, not written on stationery, is stationary because it has no legs. Stupid sentence, but you get the idea.

>Read Further to Increase Your IQ

The fine print: I'm not guaranteeing your IQ will increase by differentiating "further" and "farther." But hey, every little bit of knowledge helps.

If it is measurable, then use "farther." When it's an idea or concept, use "further." Further your career. Think about it further. You can't measure your career or your brain, at least not with a standard ruler.

How much farther do we travel? She lives farther down the street. Can a ruler measure this? Yes, but don't try this, kids. If you ignore my advice, please contact me so I can take pictures for the funny pages.

>Meryl Composes an Article Comprised of Word Troublemakers

When creating something, it is composing. When thinking of the word "compose," think Beethoven or a symphony composition. A composer puts something together into something beautiful. I wax lyrical to compose a lovely paragraph comprised of too many sugary sweet words. When composing something, it doesn't necessarily have to be music or pretty. Politicians have writers compose speeches, which I find boring.

Compose's scene stealer is "comprise," which means, "include" or "consists." My goals comprise "writing a best selling book" and "winning an award." Successfully substitute "include" for "comprise" and it works. Our favorite, Ms. Meryl, Two-syllables- not-one and rhymes with Cheryl, "comprised" a must-read book. "Include" doesn't work here, so get ready to read the book I compose.

>I Resign as Word Marriage Counselor

Whew, I survive another grammar challenge and I'm no longer anxious. Eagerly, I wait for you to finish it and send rave reviews. If you have a rant, bug my editor who (he / him?) obviously overlooked the errors. There's a reason why we writers have editors. Now, go spread the peace among words.

About the author:

Meryl "Two-syllables-not-one" Evans has been an obsessive fan of the Internet since 193 A.D. Yes, that is ONE-NINE-THREE anno Domini. In 1993, the Internet was very young! You know, dog years? Only this is digital years. Meryl has written numerous articles covering Web design, processes, handhelds and more for A List Apart, WebReview, stickyideas.com, and absolutewrite.com. She writes for The Dallas Morning News, Geek.com, and PalmPower.com. Check out her Web site at http://www.meryl.net. She can be reached at meryl@onramp.net.

Further reading:

http://www.bartleby.com/141/strunk3.html http://www.webreference.com/internet/writing/


** FlashKit Fall 2001 Developer's Conference Hits the U.S.** October 15-17th 2001- LA Convention Center- Los Angeles, CA Attend Flash Kit Fall 2001 and gain hands-on knowledge and business insights from expert speakers and gurus. From budding young designers to marketing professionals looking for creative new ideas, you need to be a part of this event! Register by Sept. 26th and Save! http://seminars.internet.com/flash/la01/index.html


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. OTHER VOICES: Cookies in Perl, DOCTYPE Explained

>Cookies in Perl

Learn how to set and inspect cookies from CGI scripts, and then use them for useful purposes like efficient, secure authentication. By Nathan Torkington. http://builder.cnet.com/webbuilding/0-7704-8-6949355-1.html Builder.com, Aug. 27, 2001

>DOCTYPE Explained

The lowly DOCTYPE element explained. Do you want it strict or loose? By Eric Meyer. http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/javascript/synd/2001/08/28/doctype.html O'Reillynet/Apple, Aug. 28, 2001

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. NET NEWS: Fewer dot-bombs means worst is over?, Jackson can't make market woes "Beat It"

>Fewer dot-bombs means worst is over?

The number of Internet companies closing up shop fell slightly in August from July - the fourth straight monthly decline - hinting the worst may be over for the beaten down dot-com industry. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7015004.html News.com/Reuters, Aug. 30, 2001

>Jackson can't make market woes "Beat It"

Michael Jackson opened the Nasdaq Thursday, but disappointing economic news and a warning from Sun Microsystems ensured the trading session was no thriller. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-7012405.html News.com, Aug. 30, 2001

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Newsletter Editor, WebReference.com aking@internet.com


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