Monday, March 29, 2010

This is my new thing I learned today:

Sometimes I get all snooty about words and word usage. Test me out on it sometime by calling it the “sixteenth” chapel, or telling me to “undefrost” a turkey before cooking it.

I hear the grimacing faces I make are just priceless.

Lo, my word-snobbery knows few bounds and that is why it was so much fun today to learn about this little linguistic nugget I have ALWAYS thus far gotten wrong and which I can now correct. I was reading an article about overpriced matzo and blah blah blah here comes the revelation: using a phrase like “X is comprised of Z” is wrong. How about that, eh? And it’s not just because of the x and the z either, smartasses. The whole “comprised of” doodad in there is totally wrong. I never knew that. Isn’t this fun?

Here’s the wrong way with a real sample:
The town is comprised of houses, hospitals and happy people.

Here’s the right way:
Houses, hospitals and happy people comprise the town.
(think “are included in”)
The town comprises houses, hospitals and happy people.
(think “includes”)

How crazy is that? I know, I know it looks totally funky but seriously I looked it up and there we are! So now, my challenge to you is to totally blow someone’s mind today by using it the right way and watch them try to correct you (either by actually correcting you or by doing it mentally in their heads while trying to not make a face) and then tell them to go look it up online. Or in, like, a book or whatever.

Very cool. Even cooler to share it, especially when I/we only just learned it a few moments ago! I love being wrong about stuff like this. Well, maybe not "love" but I do get such a thrill out of being reminded of my own knowledge chasms in such interestingly harmless ways.

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