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Taking the Terror out of 'Terrific' Feb. 26, 2020

The Word Guy

Q: Could you explain why "terrible" and "horrible" are synonyms but "terrific" and "horrific" are an... Read More

Dad Fires Up His 'Range' Rover Jan. 22, 2020

The Word Guy

My 23-year-old daughter called me the other day to tell me that her landlord had provided a "new ove... Read More

Bristle While You Work Jan. 15, 2020

The Word Guy

One of the occupational hazards of writing a language column (other than introducing myself and havi... Read More

Blooper Patrol Finds Cash in the Cellar Jan. 08, 2020

The Word Guy

Members of the ever-vigilant Word Guy Blooper Patrol have sent me this latest collection of gaffes, ... Read More

Walking in a Winter 'Worder'-land Nov. 20, 2019

The Word Guy

Put some words in your wassail and some punctuation in your punch this holiday season with one of th... Read More

Shoo, 'Of,' Don't Bother Me! Nov. 06, 2019

The Word Guy

The seemingly harmless preposition "of" is the fly in the ointment of good writing. This pesky pest ... Read More

Lock, Stock and Peril Oct. 02, 2019

The Word Guy

— Answering a Loaded Question: President Donald Trump's recent description of the U.S. militar... Read More

Reading Between the Lines Sep. 25, 2019

The Word Guy

Bing Crosby once crooned in a classic song, "You've got to accentuate the positive/ Eliminate the ne... Read More

Reader Offers a Clever 'Why's Crack?' Sep. 04, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: Why is the adjective "crack" used to describe someone who's good at something, as in a "crack sho... Read More

Using 'Times Less' Subtracts From Clarity Aug. 21, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: I see the following two phrases all too often: 1) "Three (or two or four) times less." I would th... Read More

'Trooper' Trope Troubles Troupers Aug. 14, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: The lead character in the comic strip "Rex Morgan, M.D." recently referred to someone as a "real ... Read More

Dogged Readers Snarl at Pet Peeves Jun. 05, 2019

The Word Guy

Every so often, I like to unleash my readers' pet peeves, aka 'pete noires, 'cur'sed terms and 'dog'... Read More

The Night That Changed My Life May. 22, 2019

'Tween 12 & 20

DR. WALLACE: I'm responding to the girl who was put under a lot of pressure to be a party girl. So f... Read More

Can You Catch 40 Winks? May. 15, 2019

The Word Guy

Can you find and replace each of the 40 usage errors in this account of my spring-cleaning? (The num... Read More

'Predominately' Makes Purists 'Ant'sy Mar. 20, 2019

The Word Guy

Q: Why do some people use the adverb "predominately" instead of "predominantly"? Is this an accepted... Read More

Origin of 'Gory' Misses Bull's-Eye Mar. 13, 2019

The Word Guy

"The running of the bulls got off to a gory start." That was the first sentence in a CBS News report... Read More

Those Roman Plurals Are Roamin' Mar. 06, 2019

The Word Guy

Q. I've noticed that some publications are using "millenniums" in place of "millennia," e.g., "The m... Read More

I Only Have Calves for You Feb. 27, 2019

The Word Guy

A Liberty Mutual commercial depicting a bicyclist with grossly overdeveloped "custom" calves feature... Read More

This Quiz Leaves No Room for Error Feb. 13, 2019

The Word Guy

"Roominate" on the choices posed by this usage quiz as it races from the classroom to the emergency ... Read More

Classic Ann Landers Feb. 10, 2019

Classic Ann Landers

Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to pub... Read More