Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Join Us!

Hi everyone! My internet connection was down so I wasn't able to post sooner. At least, we got it back online without having to call our provider. Anyway, here's today's post:

Last Sunday, I attended an enjoyable children's party at McDonald's. As many of these parties go, there were several games for the kids and adults to play hosted by McDo staff. I kept hearing the host saying "join with us."

I've been thinking about this error and I think it has nothing to do with being incorrect but more to do with clutter, in other words, there's a word which is not necessary. That word is with. I've posted about with before and I've pointed out that it's a preposition used to talk about "being in the company of someone else." We often say, after all, something like "I watched a movie with friends."

When the McDo host said "join with us," she literally meant to ask the party guests to be accompany her in the games so with is not really incorrect. However, we never say "join with us" or "join with me" or join with anything or anyone. The reason lies in the word join which already means "to bring (or put) together." In this light, there is no need to put with as it's meaning is similar to the meaning of the word join.

So, join me in enjoying the English language!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Grew Up In

Lately, I'm noticing confusion between "grew up in" and "came from." Sometimes, I hear students say "I grew from the province" or "I came up in province." I think this is what happens when people are not too sure about the expression they're trying to use and they wind up kind of putting everything they know together in one wrong statement. Here are the correct ways to say it:

"I grew up in the province."
"I came from the province."

The first statement is used when a person is talking about where he/she grew up. In other words, where he/she spent his/her childhood, adolescent life, and probably early adulthood. The second statement is used to say that the person is in the city after having left the province. This can be used to say that he/she has lived in the province for most of his/her life (as in, grew up in) or it can be used to say that he/she has just come from the province (perhaps on a business trip).

Our internet connection was down for a couple of days. This always seems to happen after a storm.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Downloaded from the Internet

My goodness, time does fly! I can't believe almost a week has passed since my last post. I always have this feeling that I post on Wednesdays and Sundays (or something like that) but I wind up thinking it's just Wednesday when in reality, it's Sunday (or something like that). It's either I'm getting older and my memory is not what it used to be or it's because I'm doing so much that I forget which day is which. It's probably a combination of both. Lately, I've been feeling that one day is quickly running into the next that I miss the summers of my childhood when I felt like the days were much too long. Oh well!

It's a wild, wet day here in Manila! The storm hit us bad and we're marooned with nothing but the Internet to keep us company. Here's a post for a rainy day:

Students often say "I downloaded it in the Internet." I think people use the preposition in because they consider the Internet a place to hang out, read stuff, and download stuff. In a way, this is true as the Internet is already considered some kind of place where people go--a virtual place so to speak. However, when it comes to downloading and prepositions, the correct one to use is from: "I downloaded this from the Internet." In this case, we're downloading things from a source. The preposition from, after all, is used to indicate where something originated. So, next time you're downloading, think of the source where all this downloadable fun stuff is from.

Enjoy the rainy weekend. Don't get wet now!

Monday, June 16, 2008


I really hate the way Filipinos use the word "wherein." I've heard it misused so many times that I generally think Pinoys resort to using it when they don't know what other word to use. Often, this word is used as a cohesive device when it's not supposed to be used in that manner.

Here are some examples I collected today:

"I studied nursing wherein I like to take care of the sick."
"I spend time with my family wherein we like to watch movies."
"Children need to learn good values wherein they need to behave well."
"I'm working wherein I need to earn money."

Honestly, what is going on here? It seems that "wherein" shows up no matter what the sentence is all about!

To address this problem, let's look at definitions: "wherein" means "in what way" or "in what respect." So, a correct way of using the word would be "Wherein was I wrong?" Another is the old-fashioned "wherein lies the truth?" The second definition is about location: "The province wherein they live." In no way does the word mean "and," "because," "therefore" or any other cohesive device that people substitute it for.

Here are the corrections for the sentences above:

"I studied nursing because I like to take care of the sick."
"My family and I spend time together by watching movies."
"Children need to learn good values so they behave well."
"I'm working because I need the money."

Please, minimize the use of "wherein!" In the first place, it's a rather old-fashioned word. Just say "Where was I wrong?" or "The province where they live."

"No" to wherein!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Neighbors and Neighborhoods

I heard this error today: "my neighborhoods are my friends." As much as this error surprised me, I've heard it before. I actually think that there are people there who confuse "neighbor" and "neighborhood."

It's really just a question of definitions: your neighbor is the person who lives near you while your neighborhood is the community you live in. There's a big difference between the two words but they do sound similar, which is why I think people mistake the two.

Someone named Jon left a message for me sometime ago! I'm sorry, Jon, I did not notice your comment sooner. As to contacting me, I did not put a link with my email here because I was afraid people would send me junk mail or worse. Most people who want me to respond to anything just leave me comments here. However, Jon, you say you found my blog through the DBTI mailing list which my husband, Chris, is part of. Do you mind giving me your handle on the mailing list? I will email you once I know.

Thank you for reading, everyone!

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Favorite

One of my students wrote about her favorite things by describing them as her "best favorite." I thought this was a very cute error because it seemed like she really wanted to show how much she loved her favorite things.

We never describe anything we love as our "best favorite." The word "favorite" refers to what a person loves most among many things that he/she loves. For example, I love books in general but some books are my favorites, in other words, I love them more than others. The word "best" can also mean something similar, which is why we have the expression "best friend." A person has many friends, but he/she might have one or two that he/she is closer too. These very close friends are considered "best friends." To put "best" and "favorite" together is repetitive.

So, if you love one thing more than another, you can describe it as your "favorite." If you want to talk about a close friend, you can refer to him/her as your "best friend."

Enjoy the week!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wrap Up Your Work

During a class activity, I heard someone say, "wrap up with your work." Often, we misuse the preposition, "with." Earlier, I blogged about "advise you with our arrival" (it should be "advise you on our arrival"). Today, I'm looking at another misuse of "we."

In the expression above, there's no need to use "with." The expression is simply "wrap up your work." I honestly don't know why but I think it's just a question of usage and clutter. Where usage is concerned, people have always just said "wrap up your work." Where clutter is concerned, "with" does not add to or detract from the meaning of the expression so there's no need for it. In this case, "with" is unnecessary so it just "clutters" the sentence.

Enjoy your week, everyone! Try to wrap up all your work before the weekend. Cheers!