Saturday, May 29, 2010

Your handling of numbers and time reflects the clarity of your thinking

Some people are very finicky with the grammar and the overall look and styling of their English expositions, but they are often very inconsistent and messy in handling their numbers and timekeeping. Rarely do they have a firm system for when numbers should be stated in figures or when they should be spelled out in words, so they end up writing memos, letters, or reports that are often too unsightly and unpleasant to read.

How people handle numbers and time in their prose is, of course, a clear reflection of their mental discipline and the clarity of their thinking. This is why self-respecting companies and institutions adopt a writing stylebook and require everybody in the organization to adhere to its prescriptions. Still, it takes a lot of doing to get everybody to follow that stylebook correctly and religiously, as evidenced by the spotty handling of numbers and time by the scores of writers—even professional journalists and corporate communicators—that I have edited over the years.

That situation was what prompted me to write the essay below, “The Grammar of Numbers and Time,” for my English-usage column in The Manila Times way back in 2003. I am posting it in the Forum to help people who don’t have or aren’t obliged to follow any stylebook yet to be more systematic in dealing with numbers and time in their written work.

The grammar of numbers and time

A math wizard from Bangalore, India by the name of Shakantula Devi made it to the Guinness Book of Records in 1980 when she mentally multiplied two 13-digit numbers in 28 seconds. This was the arithmetic operation she performed: 7, 686, 369, 774, 870  x  2, 465, 099, 745, 779 = 18, 947, 668, 177, 995, 426, 773, 730. Since then, Ms. Devi had been routinely beating sophisticated computers right in their own turf. In one such contest, she took only 50 seconds to get the 23rd root of a 21-digit number, while the computer took more than a minute to perform the same job.

My point in writing about Ms. Devi’s astounding arithmetic powers is not really to goad lesser mortals to try to emulate her feat, nor to shame the arithmetic-challenged among us to improve their basic computing skills, but simply to encourage people to accord more respect to numbers in their English prose. Take note, for instance, that I did not write the year “1980” in the first paragraph as “The Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Eighty” (as some lawyers are still wont to do even now); that I did not write “13-digit” as “thirteen-digit”; that I did not write “28 seconds” as “twenty-eight seconds”; and that I did not write “23rd” as “twenty-third.” The grammar of numbers and time is not a science—too many national and cultural variations militate against a universal numbers-writing style—but we certainly can minimize unsightly crimes of prose innumeracy by agreeing on a basic numbers stylebook.

Let us begin with two generally accepted rules: (1) numbers from 1 to 10 should be written as words when used in a sentence: “The customer ordered eight red shirts and five blue ones, but returned three browns”; and (2) numbers from 11 upwards in a sentence should be written in figures: “The professor discovered to her dismay that 12 of her pupils were absent, and that 546 of the entire student population did not make it to their classes either.” And if perchance the sentence has numbers ranging from 1 to any number higher than 10, the two rules above still hold even if it means mixing figures and spelled-out numbers: “We counted a total of 800 words in her essay and found ten misspelled words and 17 wrong word choices.”

There are just two notable exceptions to these rules. First, any number that starts a sentence should be written in words: “Thirteen is considered an unlucky number by some people.” “Four hundred eighty-two years ago, a Portuguese explorer stumbled on a group of islands on the Pacific and named it the Archipelago of St. Lazarus.” Second, when numbers are used to list a series of items within a sentence, all such numbers should be written as figures (or digits) even for numbers below 11: “These are the 14 reasons why I won’t live in your city: (1) the traffic is horrible, (2) the overcrowding is simply too much, (3) the cost of living is too high, and… (14) it gets so cold there in winter.”

Many people, of course, after writing out a number in words, indiscriminately repeat them in figures enclosed in parenthesis, as in: “I would like to discuss with you today three (3) aspects of the problem being encountered by four (4) of our regional offices.” Is this correct usage? Definitely not; this kind of absurd overemphasis literally insults the reader. This should be strictly confined to commercial or legal writing, as in writing checks or in preparing affidavits to make sure that nobody can easily monkey around with the numbers: “Pay to Cash: Five Thousand Two Hundred Sixty Pesos Only (PhP5,260.00)” “…for an in consideration of the delivery of Eight Hundred Sixty-Seven (867) pieces of widgets.”

Marking time gives us more latitude in using numbers. We can write, say, “9:00 A.M. (or a.m.)” or “nine o’clock in the morning” depending on the accuracy we want to convey. But most everybody on the planet is agreed that exact dates should be written in numbers, as in “August 24, 1946.”

We have to take up just three more important rules about writing numbers before we close: (1) We should use figures and not spell out numbers immediately before a unit of measure: “a 10-minute wait,” “a 3-3/4 cm. length of tape,” “16 Megahertz on the FM band”; (2) We should use figures and not spell out numbers that represent statistical or mathematical functions or formulas: “divided by 6,” multiplied by 9,” “a ratio of 50:1,” “8% bigger”; and (3) We should use figures and not spell out numbers that represent time, ages, money, sizes, scores, and points on a scale: “at 12 midnight,” “4 years old,” “$9,” “5 cm. x 12 cm.,” “73:69,” and “Intensity 5 on the Richter Scale.”

We use numbers all the time in our lives, so it pays to do our numbers right. (November 12, 2003)

From the weekly column “English Plain and Simple” by Jose A. Carillo in The Manila Times, November 12, 2003 issue © 2003 by the Manila Times Publishing Corp. This essay later became Chapter 129 of the book Give Your English the Winning Edge ©2009 by the Manila Times Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My hunch was right about the usage of “between” and “among”

Are you sure that you have been correctly using the prepositions “between” and “among” in your sentence constructions all these years? If you can’t say for sure, then you’re not alone in your predicament. I was in the same situation once. Until my college days, in fact, I used to be totally confident in my choice between “between” and “among,” the following rule having been efficiently drilled into my head by my English grammar teachers: “Use ‘between’ for two, and use ‘among’ for more than two.”

But as I recounted in an essay I wrote several years ago for my English-usage column in The Manila Times, there finally came a time when I began to have my doubts. I wrote: “Using ‘between’ rarely gave me problems, but there were far too many situations when using ‘among’ for threesomes or more simply didn’t seem right. Sentences like the following particularly baffled me: ‘The chiffon cake was divided among Ana, Gloria, and Julia.’ ‘The stewardess had mud among her fingers.’ ‘The rich matron must have dropped her wallet somewhere among the supermarket, the street, and the parking lot.’ In all three cases, ‘among’ seemed to me a grammatical misfit and ‘between’ a more natural choice.” (Give Your English the Winning Edge, chapter 111, page 314) As it turned out, my hunch was correct.

In “Clarifying the use of ‘between’ and ‘among’,” a later essay that I have posted in this week’s edition of the Forum, I revisited this thorny aspect of English grammar after encountering what I thought was the mistaken use of “among” for “between” even by a professional linguist. As companion reading for this essay, I have provided a link to another essay on the same subject, “A recurrent misuse of ‘between’,” that I posted in the Forum last year. I hope that together, these two essays will give you much greater confidence in your usage choices between “between” and “among.”

[For inside the Forum]

Clarifying the use of “between” and “among”

The other day, I was reading The Atoms of Language: The Mind’s Hidden Rules of Grammar by Mark Baker, a linguistics professor at Rutgers University in the United States, when I came across this passage in his preface to the book: “Mohawk . . . is quite a different thing from Japanese or English or Welsh or Swahili or Navajo or Warlpiri or Hixkaryana. Nevertheless, linguists are discovering that the differences among [italics mine] these languages are created by a small number of discrete factors, called parameters.”

What struck me as rather odd—if not outright mistaken—is the author’s usage of the preposition “among” instead of “between” to relate the eight languages enumerated in the preceding sentence as part of a collectivity with certain differences. Over the years, on the authority of both the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary, I have always believed that the correct usage should be “between” when denoting a one-to-one relationship regardless of the number of items, in which case the sentence should read as follows: “Nevertheless, linguists are discovering that the differences between these languages are created by a small number of discrete factors, called parameters.”

Evidently, however, Prof. Baker subscribes to the popular notion that “between” should be limited to denoting a relationship involving only two entities, and that “among” should be used when there are more than two such entities. But as many an English user has wondered, is this grammar prescription really applicable in all cases?

When the relationship involves only two entities, of course, the only choice is “between,” as in these two sentences: “This arrangement is just between you and me.” “The meeting was meant to encourage discussion between the two warring clans.” But when more than two entities are involved, the choice between “between” and “among” gets fuzzy. When there are three warring clans, for instance, do we say, “The meeting was meant to encourage discussion between the warring Lopez, Marquez, and Enriquez clans” or “The meeting was meant to encourage discussion among the warring Lopez, Marquez, and Enriquez clans”?

According to Kenneth Wilson of The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, “between” can be used for as many items as desired if the relationship is one-to-one, as in the following sentence: “Trade relations between [not “among”] the United States, the Middle East, and China are bound to change due to the ongoing global economic crisis.” This usage prescription looks reasonable and logical to me, so I would suggest that the “between”-using version of the sentence about the three warring clans in the preceding paragraph is the correct one: “The meeting was meant to encourage discussion between the warring Lopez, Marquez, and Enriquez clans.”

My point in making this choice is to help people get rid of the profound tendency to limit the use of “between” to relationships involving only two entities and to use “among” for all relationships involving more than two entities. As Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary notes, “‘Between’ has been used of more than two since Old English; it is especially appropriate to denote a one-to-one relationship, regardless of the number of items. It can be used when the number is unspecified, as in “economic cooperation between nations,” and when more than two are enumerated, as in between you and me and the lamppost”; “partitioned between Austria, Prussia, and Russia”—Nathaniel Benchley; and even when only one item is mentioned (but repetition is implied), as in “pausing between every sentence to rap the floor”—George Eliot.

“‘Among’ is more appropriate where the emphasis is on distribution rather than individual relationships, as in “discontent among the peasants.” When ‘among’ is automatically chosen for more than two, English idiom may be strained, as in “a worthy book that nevertheless falls among many stools”—John Simon; “the author alternates among modern slang, clichés and quotes from literary giants”—A. H. Johnston.

I hope that this clarifies the usage of “between” and “among” once and for all. (November 29, 2008)

From the weekly column “English Plain and Simple” by Jose A. Carillo in The Manila Times, November 29, 2008 issue © 2008 by the Manila Times Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.


Setting the limits of a range wrongly

There’s actually more to the problem than meets the eye in the frequent misuse of the preposition “between” in the sense of setting the limits or endpoints of a range, as in the sentences “Plain chocolate contains between 30 percent to 70 percent cocoa solids.” “Each shop can carry between 1,000 to 1,800 items.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Using the connectives to flag the contours and detours of our ideas

Many nonnative speakers of English become quite adept at constructing grammar-perfect single short sentences, but they remain incapable of weaving them into a logical and cohesive narrative or exposition. My pet theory over the years has been that this is the result of their having a very limited repertoire of the so-called connectives, namely the coordinating conjunctions (such as “and,” “but,” and “or”), the conjunctive adverbs (such as “then,” “therefore,” and “meanwhile”), the subordinating conjunctions (such as “if,” “due to,” and “until”)—and, of course, the prepositions (such as “in,” “on,” and “between”), which many people find such pesky and elusive things to learn. As I point out in my book Give Your English the Winning Edge, we need these connectives to flag the contours and detours of our thoughts when we talk or write. Without them, we would have such a rough-and-tumble time making our ideas known, and driving home our point would be such a painful—even embarrassing—experience not only for our readers or listeners but for ourselves as well. This is why I always give high priority to an intensive review of the connectives when asked to run English-language refresher courses for my institutional clients.

At one time, however, when a graduate-school English professor and I were jointly designing the rather tight 12-hour course work for a two-day seminar on business English, we faced this dilemma: Should we give a special review slot for the conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs or for the prepositions instead? How we arrived at our decision became the subject of an essay that I wrote for my English-usage column in the May 12, 2007 issue of The Manila Times. I am now posting that essay in this week’s edition of the Forum to emphasize how crucial it is to master the connectives to dramatically improve one’s proficiency in speaking and writing in English. (May 15, 2010)

Master the conjunctions or the prepositions first?

Which should get higher priority in an English refresher course—mastery of the conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs or mastery of the prepositions?

This question came up when a graduate-school English professor and I were designing a two-day seminar on English grammar and usage for a client company. There was simply too much ground to cover in less than 12 hours of course work, so we needed to focus only on the most critical usage areas where the English of the participants could be demonstrably improved.

We agreed that mastery of both the conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs as well as the prepositions is crucial to good English, but we differed on which of them should get a slot in the course. He wanted to give it to the prepositions because of their rampant misuse not only in business and commercial writing but also in journalism. It is embarrassing, he said, that far too many people are incorrectly using “at” instead of “on” or “in” as a preposition for specific points in time, “in” instead of “on” as a preposition of location, and “into” instead of “onto” as a preposition of motion and direction. He wanted to correct the problem by focusing on preposition usage.

I agreed with him that preposition misuse is indeed rampant, but I said that the problem is one that just couldn’t be solved by 30 minutes or so of seminar instruction. A much better solution, I said, is sustained, conscientious self-study. What’s more, I argued, preposition usage is largely a matter of convention and can sometimes be arbitrary among some major English users; in particular, I pointed out, British English in some cases even uses “in” and “on” in exactly the opposite way that American English does.

Then I called his attention to the even more complicated matter of the prepositional idioms and prepositional phrases—those quirky verb forms, adjective forms, and adverb forms that demand the use of specific prepositions to be grammatically correct, as in “composed of” instead of “composed from” and “charge with a crime” instead of “charge of a crime.” These forms don’t really have an overt logic, I said; they simply become entrenched in the language through repeated use. And since there are hundreds of these prepositional forms, people obviously can’t learn them through quick bursts of instruction in a seminar environment. Along with the basic prepositions, they can be learned more effectively by committing them to memory over the long term.

In contrast, I argued, the conjunctions are something that people need to master right away to graduate from just making simple, one-idea sentences into constructing more informative and expressive ones. They need the conjunctions to effectively correlate and link sentences into a logical train of ideas, then to unify those ideas into coherent and understandable writing or speech. But people can achieve this mastery only by becoming truly conversant with the conjunctions, specifically (1) the coordinating conjunctions “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” and “so”; (2) the whole range of subordinating conjunctions such as “after” and “before,” “since” and “because,” and “though” and “even if”; (3) the conditional subordinating conjunctions such as “if” and “while”; and (4) the conjunctive adverbs such as “however” and “therefore.”

Conjunctions, I pointed out, are actually what drive the logic of sentences and provide coherence and unity to a particular set of ideas. Thus, we can bungle our sentences with several ill-chosen prepositions yet still get ourselves understood, but just one wrong conjunction can make our ideas go astray, demolish our line of argument, and confuse our readers or listeners. At worst, I said, wrong preposition choices can mark a person only as someone deficient in English grammar, but wrong conjunction choices can mark that person as a bad, illogical thinker, perhaps even a buffoon.

After our discussion, I am glad to report, my fellow seminar developer agreed to drop preposition usage from the seminar and gave the slot to conjunction usage instead. (March 12, 2007)

From the weekly column “English Plain and Simple” by Jose A. Carillo in The Manila Times, March 12, 2007 issue © 2007 by the Manila Times Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.


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P.S. For those who need a dramatic improvement in their connectives usage, my book Give Your English the Winning Edge (Manila Times Publishing, 486 pages) devotes 14 chapters to the English conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, and prepositions. Click this link to the Forum’s Bookshop section for the book’s table of contents where these chapters are listed.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ferreting out truth and falsehood from the flood of poll propaganda

To help the public sort out truth and falsehood from the torrent of propaganda that I anticipated would engulf the current Philippine national election campaign, the Forum posted an essay of mine, “A primer on political propaganda,” on August 29 last year, followed by my series on the logical and verbal fallacies from February 22 to March 2 this year. Now that the May 10 elections are almost here, Forum members and guests may want to go over the series again for good measure. Simply click the indicated links to read “Watching out against the material fallacies,” “Watching out against the fallacies of relevance,” and “Watching out against the verbal fallacies.” And to bring the series full circle, I am reposting my essay on political propaganda in this week’s edition of the Forum. Although these essays were originally written during the run-up to the 2004 Philippine national elections, I believe that they are not only timely but as relevant as ever to the electoral choices we will be making on May 10.

The Forum has kept itself as apolitical as possible in the current national election campaign, but as the campaign draws to a close, it is making this appeal to every voter: Do vote, and please vote rationally and wisely! (May 8, 2010)

A primer on political propaganda

Propaganda did not start as something undesirable or downright evil. In fact, it had its origins in what many of us would consider the holiest of causes. Almost four centuries ago, in 1622, Pope Gregory XV was confronted with a twin-horned problem: heathens were fiercely resisting Christianity in the new lands that the papacy wanted to evangelize, and where the faith had already made a beachhead, heretics were attacking its very genuineness and patrimony.

Alarmed, the 68-year-old pope, once a fiery and outspoken doctor of laws but now afflicted by a dreadful bladder stone barely two years into the papacy (he died of the illness a year later), decided to form a special task force. He called it the Congregatio de propaganda fide, or “the Congregation for propagating the faith,” and gave it the task of putting more teeth to the worldwide missionary activities of the Roman Catholic Church.

That congregation’s successes and failures are today firmly etched both in the world’s religious geography and in the inscrutable, sometimes shockingly irrational ways that people on both sides of the great religious divide view that world. That, of course, is a fascinating subject crying for an intelligent discussion, but at this time, we will limit ourselves to how the entirely new word “propaganda” crept into the language, first into Latin and later into English, and how its practice evolved into a deadlier hydra than the twin-horned devil it was originally meant to vanquish.

Today, as most of us know, the word “propaganda” has become a noun that means “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person.” In plain and simple English, it is a one-sided form or persuasion seeking to make people decide and act without thinking. This blight on the logical thought process becomes virulent when serious clashes in religious, political, and ideological beliefs become inevitable. And what makes the once pious word and activity even more unchristian and linguistically anomalous is that it is waged as fanatically by the really bad guys as by the presumably good guys on our side.

The essential problem with propaganda, of course, is its single-minded goal of short-circuiting rational thought. As practiced in the Philippine election campaign, for instance, it is excessively bigoted in agitating our emotions, in exploiting our insecurities and ignorance, in taking advantage of the ambiguities and vulnerabilities of the language, and in bending the rules of logic whenever convenient or expedient. Propaganda can delude both the ignorant and intelligent alike, and the even greater danger is that even astute people could become its victims and crazed believers, as we are witnessing right now.

To fortify our defenses against political propaganda, we have to do two crucial things ourselves: (1) know at least the most basic tricks used by political propagandists to subvert rational thinking, and (2) cultivate an open and objective mind to counter their deceptions and sleighs of the mind.

A practical first step for this propaganda-defusing process is to critically scrutinize those aspiring for the top national positions. For our own and this country’s sake, and no matter what the poll surveys and the TV or radio commercials say, we must cut the candidates down to size. We must for decision-making purposes think of them simply as applicants for a specific job, or consider them as nothing more than branded products on the supermarket shelf.

By looking at a candidate as just another job applicant, we can greatly loosen the grip of his or her propaganda on our senses. That will allow us to dispassionately go over his or her application and résumé and make a reasonably sound judgment on the following basics: (1) communication and writing skills, (2) quality of mind and self-appraisal, and (3) qualifications and job-related work experience. Anybody who skips this elementary procedure for hiring entry-level stock clerks and senior corporate executives alike is obviously an incompetent, irresponsible fool who deserves to be fired outright. And yet, as we can all see, skipping this very basic process is what many propagandists of national candidates would like the Filipino electorate to do.

It would be even more instructive to treat the candidates simply as products on a supermarket shelf. We can then proceed to mercilessly strip them of their elaborate branding and packaging to see the intrinsic worth of the actual product inside. It would shock many people to know that the cost of the packaging of certain shampoos in glitzy sachets can run to as much as 85 percent of their total selling price. How much more profound their shock would be to find that some highly touted candidates, when stripped of their glitzy imaging and positioning, have less probative value for the national positions they are seeking than the paper their faces and names are printed on. (March 29, 2004)

From the weekly column “English Plain and Simple” by Jose A. Carillo in The Manila Times, March 29, 2004 issue © 2004 by the Manila Times Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.


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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Use the reflexive form when the verb’s object is the doer itself

A basic rule in English grammar is that transitive verbs must always have a direct object, which is defined as the word or phrase that receives the verb’s action or denotes the goal of that action. But what happens when the doer of the verb’s action is also the receiver or goal of that action? Can the doer of an action be also its direct object? And how does the language convey that idea?

We learned early in grammar school, of course, that English had come up with the so-called reflexive pronouns for that purpose, and I thought of discussing them in 2004 for the readers of my language column in The Manila Times. I am now posting that essay here for Forum members and guests who might need a similar refresher lesson on the subject. (May 1, 2010)

When the object is the doer itself

We all know that when a sentence uses a transitive verb as the operative verb, it is absolutely necessary for the verb to have a direct object and to act on it: “The woman spurned her suitor last week.” “Her suitor found a better woman yesterday.” Nothing really happens when there’s no direct object to take the action: “The woman spurned last week.” “Her suitor found yesterday.” When a transitive verb can’t act on anything, in fact, expect the sentence to make no sense at all.

A direct object, however, need not always be someone or something other than the subject itself. Indeed, in grammar as in real life, there are many situations in which the subject can perform actions to or for itself as the direct object. The transitive verb therefore still functions in such cases even in the absence of an external object or receiver.

The grammar device used in English to indicate such situations is the reflexive pronoun. Recall now that each of the personal pronouns has a reflexive form that ends with the suffix “self”: “myself” for “I,” the singular “yourself” for the singular “you,” the plural “yourselves” for the plural “you,” “himself” for “he,” “herself “ for “she,” “ourselves” for “we,” “themselves” for “they,” “oneself” for “one,” and “itself” for “it.” The suffix “self” works to pass back the verb’s action to the subject performing that action.

Let’s refresh our memory about the most common applications of reflexive pronouns:

When the subject and direct object are one and the same. A reflexive pronoun is called for when (1) the subject acts on itself, or (2) describes a state, condition, or fact about itself. Acting on oneself: “I restrained myself to avoid getting into trouble.” “The long-distance runner paced herself to conserve her energy.” “They fooled themselves into believing that the pyramid company would make them rich.” Describing one’s own situation: “She considered herself qualified for the post.” “Don’t blame us; we were victimized ourselves.”

In imperative sentences, of course, the reflexive expresses an action that someone expects another or others to do to themselves: “You behave yourself.” “You bring yourselves here at once!” The pronoun “you,” however, is often dropped from such constructions for greater immediacy: “Behave yourself.” “Bring yourselves here at once!”

When the subject itself is the indirect object (usually the object of a preposition). The reflexive works to establish the idea that the subject is not the verb’s direct object but simply an indirect object or intermediate receiver of the action: “I picked some books for myself.” “She is eating lunch all by herself.” “The thieves divided the loot among themselves.”

When the subject needs to be emphasized to make the context clearer. The reflexive can emphasize a particular action as solely the doing of the subject (to the exclusion of everybody else): “I’ll do it myself since nobody wants to help.” “She drove to the city herself because her chauffeur called in sick.” “They drank all the water themselves so we went thirsty.”

We must remember, though, that another type of pronouns, the intensive pronouns, has exactly the same grammatical forms as those of the reflexives. The intensive pronouns, we will recall, function solely to emphasize their antecedent subject, not to act on it in any way: “I myself found the hotel substandard.” “The general manager himself convinced the strikers to return to work.” “They themselves suffered an ignominious defeat at the polls.” What intensive pronouns do is to draw stronger attention to the subject as doer or receiver of the action.

A final point about the behavior of verbs before we close: although as a rule, intransitive verbs can’t take a direct object and act on it, a few intransitive verbs are able to do that. This is when such a verb, to reinforce meaning in a sentence, takes its noun equivalent as a cognate object, or an object represented by a word very close to the verb in form: “Although born rich, he lived the life of a bum.” “We dreamed a dream that couldn’t come true.” “They scrupulously speak the speech of New Yorkers down to the slightest twang.” (December 13, 2004)

From the weekly column “English Plain and Simple” by Jose A. Carillo in The Manila Times, December 13, 2004 © 2004 by the Manila Times Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.


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