Yo, Diction: What’s up with “overtones” and “undertones”?

Although the nouns “overtones" and "undertones" look as if they should be opposites, they are more or less synonyms when they’re used to mean an underlying quality or implied meaning. The words are often used interchangeably.

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Keep in mind, however, that “overtone" has a definition that "undertone" doesn’t:

(Source: theyuniversity)

What’s up with capitalizing the titles of books and songs?

Here is the general rule in the simplest form:

Capitalize every word EXCEPT for the following: 

a, an, and, at, but, by, for, in, nor, or, of, on, or, so, the, to, up, yet

UNLESS they are the first or last words of the title.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • On Top of Old Smokey
  • With or Without You
  • Born to Run
  • About a Boy
  • In Between Days
  • She Bangs the Drums
  • The Crying of Lot 49
  • Blood on the Leaves

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NOTE: There are other “rules” and “standards” for capitalizing titles. If you are instructed by your teacher, professor, or editor to comply with a specific style, consult the appropriate guide, e.g., The BBC News Style Guide, The Associated Press StylebookMLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, The Chicago Manual of Style.

(Kanye GIF source: Phil Howell Design)

Yo, Grammar: What’s up with “e.g.” and “i.e.”?

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Interestingly, many people have been asking about this lately.

Here’s the answer, thisisthereasonwhyiloveyou:

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In case you’re wondering, “e.g.” is short for exempli gratia; "i.e." is short for id est. They’re both from Latin.

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Right, Doctor(s)?

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(GIF source: GIPHY)

(Source: theyuniversity, via theyuniversity)

I recently sent my friend a text concerning whether or not her friend was following my friends on Instagram. She answered yes and then proceeded to ask why I would ask her this question. I responded with: because my friends are getting confused who she is. So my question is, is the last part "friends are getting confused who she is" grammatically correct?

Hello.

We’ll use your specific question to branch out into a discussion about “get" in general, so bear with us.

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Using any form of “get" is considered colloquial (not formal or literary). Using them is fine in conversations, text messages, and tweets, but not in essays.

Therefore, many teachers will frown at all of these sentences:

  • I got suspended last semester.
  • She got tired as soon as we left the house.
  • Mike got an A on his essay.

These would be better replacements:

  • I was suspended last semester.
  • She became tired as soon as we left the house.
  • Mike received an A on his essay.

The same idea applies to some common expressions containing “get”:

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Here is the answer to your question, ultrapartyspock: we would have written it differently. Any one of these would have worked:

  • I said, “Because my friends aren’t sure who she is.”
  • I said, “Because my friends are getting confused about her.” (“Getting" is OK in this context because it’s in a message to friends, not an essay.)
  • I said, “Because my friends are wondering who she is.”

The reason for the rephrasing is that we weren’t sure what meaning you were trying to convey.

We hope this helps.

Cheers. ヽ(^。^)丿

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