Welcome to the first Language Ninja article of what is sure to be a blazing hot summer!
Ninja’s beat the heat tip: Switch out your heat-absorbing black shinobi shōzoku for a light-reflecting bodysuit made of mirrors. She’s pretty sure you can find one on Etsy.
15 03 2016
In a case of grammatical form following function, the American Dialect Society voted “they”, used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, as 2015’s word of the year. The selection may have some traditionalists clutching their pearls, but the recognition validates the singular pronoun’s utility and reflects our shifting social landscape.
Quick, before the Feds kick down my door—let me tell you a story.
This is a case of alleged corruption, unproven fraud, and suspected malfeasance…all made possible by a small grammatical ambiguity.
What if I told you that a missing comma nearly let me slip away with half a million dollars of ill-gotten taxpayer money? Well, “slip away” might be the wrong way to put it—the questionable actions can be justified as perfectly legal…from a certain point of view.
Where to begin?
Q: Can you describe the difference between “ignorance” and “stupidity”? I often wonder about the distinction when reading your posts.
A: The Language Ninja is literally and figuratively sputtering with rage at your insult disguised as a query. She concedes, however, that it is elegantly framed. Well met!