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“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” –Oscar Wilde Only Oscar Wilde could be quite so frivolous when describing a matter as grave as the punctuation of poetry, something that causes particular grief in our […]more
Pluto has special significance not only because it is the only planet in our solar system to have its status as a planet stripped and downgraded to a dwarf planet, but also because along with its largest satellite Charon, it is our solar system’s only binary planet system. In addition to Charon, Pluto has four […]more
Etymologically, chemical elements are in a class of their own. Unlike much of the English language, the names of elements tend to have been chosen by the researchers who first discovered them rather than developing organically over time. There are no rules as to how these names are decided, but the history of chemistry reveals […]more
It’s probably safe to say that most of us don’t give much thought to how plural nouns are formed in English. In fact, add –s or –es, whatever a word’s origin or meaning, might be one of the easiest grammatical rules in the language. So we have book / books, church / churches, hula / […]more
The many and varied classical characters that appear in Greek and Roman mythology played such a large role in the cultural identity of those ancient civilizations that tales of their exploits have endured and have been incorporated into literature and language worldwide. The names of the characters themselves are often listed in dictionaries and are frequently associated […]more
This is not a shockingly grammatical sequel to the acclaimed series, but a chance to revel in the magically inventive language of the Harry Potter books. The films have reportedly made over six billion dollars to date and the books have been translated into 67 languages, with 450 million copies sold worldwide. J. K. Rowling’s […]more