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Last night was another production night for the newspaper, and yet again, I came up with a big list of common errors we need to cut down on. These lists, if I hang onto 'em, might be good fodder for future English courses, should I ever happen to teach any. Right now, though, they're just good entertainment.

-Alumna is the feminine singular. Alumnae is all-female plural. Alumnus is male singular. Alumni is all male and mixed plural.

-We say so-and-so is the "dean of" blah, not the "dean for" it.

-Health care is 2 words, not one.

-Its is a singular possessive, like "The robot's car." It's is a condensed form of "it is".

-Siam no longer exists. It's now Thailand. Persia doesn't exist, either.

-Try to avoid the construction, "Because ___ does not mean that ___." You really mean "Despite blah, blah blah..."

-Bon appétit has an accent on the "E". This is super-easy on a Mac, just hit "option-E" then "E" again.

-"universal health care" is not capitalized.

-Try to get pronouns right. If you start off talking about "Joe" (male), don't say "she" says anything.

3:46 pm, November 14, 2003 :: the jablog years

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