Top Ten for ’20 Posted by Gary Locke on Dec 23, 2020 in Culture, English Grammar, English Language, Uncategorized
We are just about at the end of 2020 and, yes, I can hear many of you saying, “Thank goodness!” We will none of us soon forget this year. There’s never been anything like it. The hardships that have affected all of us in one way or another will carry an impact for probably the rest of our lives.
Nevertheless, this blog continued its mission to help you understand the peculiar, crazy vagaries of the English language. We also covered the culture and news from the United States, including the most divisive national election in history and the search for racial equality. As we saw this year, events in the news can have an impact on language.
Here, then, is a look back at the blogs you opened, read, and commented on the most in this unforgettable year.
#10 – Setting the Dinner Table
Maybe you, too, were missing the experience of dining with friends, or you simply wanted to learn all the vocabulary associated with a formal dinner. Whatever the reason, this post from August was very popular.
By June, we were all ready just to have a laugh or two. At the suggestion of one of our readers, we had fun with some of the trickiest tongue twisters I’ve ever encountered over my many years of challenging myself with the English language.
More fun with English! In April, I gave you 20 sentences. 15 of these sentences contained a mistake, but 5 were correct. The trick was to find the word or punctuation that’s wrong in each of the 15 incorrect sentences.
In November we took a deep dive into the common mistakes even native English speakers make with every day past tense modals.
Another test, this time in July, challenged you to identify grammatical terms from their scrambled letters, then match the term with its definition. It wasn’t easy, but this was one of the year’s most popular blogs!
#5 – We Are Many
The linguistic concept of Clusivity was explored in this blog from June when we explored the subtle distinctions in English with the simple word we.
Let’s face it, whether you are a native English speaker or you are just learning the language, there’s always a time when you just don’t understand what someone is saying. In September, we looked at many of the ways to express that.
Of all the blogs that I’ve written, this is one of my favorites. To my surprise and delight, it turns out to be one of yours as well! A 1920 poem by Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité perfectly demonstrated the crazy nature of the English language. This post from March puts it all in perspective.
#2 – Take Me Out
By May, most of us had begun to dream of a life without Coronavirus. I was no exception. In this post, I revealed where I most want to go when the world returns to normal: Fenway Park, in Boston. Apparently, many of you wanted to join me.
I don’t care who you are, at some time or another you have wondered how to properly use parenthesis in an English sentence. In fact, it’s such a common problem that, by far, this blog from October was the most popular posting of the year!
Thank you for joining me on this journey through the English language in this most difficult year. Your comments and readership were always welcome. There’s more ahead in 2021. But, maybe this time, it’ll be an easier voyage.
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