Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Year Old on this New Year's Day

Today is the one year anniversary of I Stand Corrected. And although I have been rather MIA lately, I definitely wanted to stop by to make an entry here today. Here is a link to The First Entry in the original AOL Journal from January 1, 2008, in case you missed it way back then. The following is a paragraph from that original entry:

I've wanted to do this journal for a long time, and I finally decided that
I'd start it on January 1. I want to discuss words -- beautiful, lovely,
inspiring words! I want to discuss lovely phrases, especially archaic
phrases that one doesn't hear much nowadays; perhaps words or phrases you may
have heard your parents or grandparents using, but don't hear often now. I
want to discuss styles of writing. I also want to open the journal up for
questions and answers. Do you wonder when it is correct to use "then" and
when you should use "than", for example? Email a question or leave it in
the comment thread, and someone will supply the answer.

There were 14 posts that first month of 2008, but no other month had that many. Life rather interrupts us at times and makes us put on a back burner projects that may be dear to us. If it hadn't been for Guido and Beth contributing entries, some months would have been sadly empty of posts. My goal for 2009 is to spend a bit more time on this blog, starting today.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A great site

Check out the Etymology Dictionary. I think I've died and gone to heaven.

Oh, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm affected by the effect these words have on me

For the most part, I think I have this one figured out, but I still like to double check myself whenever I use either of these words.

Most frequently, affect is a verb, meaning to influence or cause a change in, or to act on the emotions of. "I was very affected by such a sad movie." Effect is usually seen as a noun, meaning something brought about by a cause (i.e., a result), or the power to produce a result. "The sad movie had a profound effect on me."

Of course, just to make things interesting, we can pull a switcheroo with these words, and make affect a noun, meaning feeling or emotion. This is especially used in psychology: "The patient's affect was blunted and reduced," meaning that they showed little emotion. Use effect as a verb, and it means to produce or bring about. "The new manager plans to implement a change in suppliers in order to effect cost savings." (The change in suppliers will produce cost savings. In the sentence I gave as an example, the word "implement" could be replaced with "effect.")

If anyone has an easy way to remember the difference between the two, please share. This is one that took me many years to get straight, and it's still not automatic for me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Better World Books

If you love books, visit my Nutwood Junction blog for a discount coupon for Better World Books. They're a great company, and you can get the coupon code, follow the link, and read more about them at my site.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Aggravate vs. Irritate - further discussion

I wanted to weigh in on this when we got back from our little vacation, because like Lori, I was curious to see if there was a distinction between the two words. I found this specific usage note at

USAGE NOTE Aggravate comes from the Latin verb aggravāre, which meant "to make heavier," that is, "to add to the weight of." It also had the extended senses "to annoy" and "to oppress." Some people claim that aggravate can only mean "to make worse," and not "to irritate," on the basis of the word's etymology. But in doing so, they ignore not only an English sense in use since the 17th century, but also one of the original Latin ones. Sixty-eight percent of the Usage Panel approves of its use in It's the endless wait for luggage that aggravates me the most about air travel.

It is also listed as a synonym in the thesaurus section.

Definition source: "aggravate." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 03 Dec. 2008.

Thesaurus source: "aggravate." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 03 Dec. 2008.