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Comment from Randall Conrad
Time: July 31, 2016, 6:11 pm

I don’t like to be finicky, but: In your list of adjectives that end in –ine, isn’t there only one “s” in “asinine”? (Answer: Yes there is, Randall, and thanks for pointing it out.)

Comment from admin
Time: July 31, 2016, 1:37 pm

Thank you so much, Randall–for your positive comments and especially for your correction. I blush for the error; I have made the correction. I hope you’ll be able to sleep now!

Comment from Randall Conrad
Time: July 19, 2016, 4:08 am

This is just the kind of philologist trove that I can get lost in for hours. Unfortunately my instinctive proofreader’s reflex caused me to stop while perusing the list of words ending in -ine (mostly animals, you notice?). You have misspelled aquiline. If you wouldn’t mind, please make the correction so I can get unstuck…

Comment from Raphael Sason
Time: November 7, 2015, 9:50 pm

I discovered your site while doing a net-search for Whom/Who usage. I love your examples. Spent a little exploring your site. It is wonderful. As a foreigner who learned English as a second language, I am very aware and conscientious of what words really mean.

I appreciate your work. Thank You.

Thanks, Raphael, I’m so glad you find the site helpful! If you are a word lover, you might also enjoy my tumblr.

Comment from Christopher Nichols
Time: January 4, 2015, 3:22 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Your site is a treasure trove for word lovers. Thank you for sharing all of this. Regarding words with the -ine suffix, I think vespine (of wasps) might not be on your list. Let me know when you publish your novels!

Thank you so much for your generous comments–and thank you for “vespine,” which I will add immediately.
See the Novels section on my website for the only one I’ve published so far.
You might also like my tumblr,

Comment from Fritzie Borgwardt
Time: September 9, 2014, 12:32 am

AN EXAMPLE: What about who bribes whom?

Great example, thanks! And since HE bribes HIM, it also illustrates my trick for figuring out when to use which one.

Comment from Fritzie Borgwardt
Time: September 8, 2014, 11:37 pm

Could an example be “Who bribes whom? i.e. ….Now put microphones and hidden cameras on all the lawmakers we pay to do our bidding to find out who bribes whom to vote it down.

Comment from Todd L.
Time: August 21, 2014, 4:09 pm

To that list of words ending in “-que” that illustrate (among other things) that “que” at the end of a word is pronounced like “k” and isn’t voiced, I would add: mystique, discotheque, technique. And thank you for your explanation as to why there’s no such word as “barbeque” with a “q” instead of “c” as in the correctly spelled “barbecue”. I see “barbeque” all the time nowadays and it really annoys me. As you pointed out, the letter group “que” cannot possibly pronounced “cue”. (“Barbeque” is right up there with “expresso”, in my opinion.) As to “barbeque” and a few other equally annoying common misspellings (such as the non-word “restauranteur” with that extra “n” in it or “sherbert” with the extra “r”), I say shame on Merriam-Webster for adding those erroneous spellings as acceptable alternates in their dictionaries in the 1990’s. Fortunately, other English dictionaries have resisted doing that. Merriam-Webster even says “supercede” is acceptable along with “alright”. I assert that those misspellings are by no means all right.

Thanks for your additions to my list. I love getting more info/ammo in the struggle against totally descriptive, rather than prescriptive, dictionaries and grammars. I had an argument with someone about “a swathe of lawn.” They “won” because “it’s in the dictionary.”
Did you see my post on “restauranteur”? I too cringe at “expresso” and “sherbert”–although of course now everyone calls it “sore-bay”!

Comment from Sue
Time: July 13, 2014, 6:36 pm

I’m sorry, but your post on who/whom is one of the worst I’ve read on the web. I’d suggest editing it or removing it.

Thanks for your input. I’m sorry you didn’t find it helpful. I’d appreciate it if you could give me a link to one you think is better.

Comment from Geri Brin
Time: July 5, 2014, 2:39 pm

Sorry but your explanations of when to use who and whom are totally confusing.

I’m sorry you didn’t find it helpful. Here’s the tl;dr: when you would use “him,” use “whom.” Otherwise, you can simply always use “who.” It won’t always be right, but it will sound less wrong than using “whom” in the wrong context.

Comment from John Chisholm
Time: May 31, 2014, 7:41 pm

Whoops, I left off a close-quote after “am” in my previous comment.

I forgive you 😉

Comment from John Chisholm
Time: May 31, 2014, 7:40 pm

Dear Elizabeth, thanks for a fun and informative website! Question:

I don’t try to hide who/whom I am.

To me, this should be “who,” as in, “I don’t try to hide [the person] who I am. But Microsoft Word corrects “who” to “whom.” Is this correct?


Best wishes,

Wow, John–MSWord has it totally wrong, and you are right. The verb to be is an identity verb, i.e. the thing on one side of the verb (the subject) is the same as the thing on the other side of the verb. So it is correct to say “I am he” and “who I am.” Don’t know who is Microsoft’s grammar authority, but they need a new one!

Comment from Robert
Time: April 29, 2014, 8:41 pm

I have Dalziel in my (Scottish) family tree, and we have always pronounced it ‘Dee-yell’, the reason being that the z is not a ‘z’ but a yogh, an archaic letter that is no longer used and is related to a y. In this way the name Menzies is pronounced ‘Mingis’ in Scotland. Go figure.

Comment from admin
Time: July 18, 2013, 3:46 pm

Thanks for your input. As I’ve said before, I got the pronunciation in Scotland. I’ll add a note to my post.

Comment from Rab
Time: July 17, 2013, 11:10 pm

I’ve never met a Blenkiron that didn’t call themselves BLENK-IRON, and I’ve met a lot of Blenkirons. Like BLENK-horn or BLENK-insop…

I always assumed people that moved the split to between the n and the k thought that the name was Irish: It isn’t.

Comment from leana
Time: June 2, 2013, 7:11 pm

My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again. leana

So glad you enjoyed what you saw, Leana, and please do come back and visit again!

Comment from Anonymous
Time: May 3, 2013, 11:44 am

Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative.

Thanks for the compliment! Do come back and visit again.

Comment from admin
Time: June 3, 2012, 4:07 pm

Thanks for the interesting information on the pronunciation of your name, David. I actually heard it in Scotland and assumed that by saying Blenk-arn I was proving to the natives that I was just an ignorant Yank who probably also said Wor-ses-ter-shire and Lie-ses-ter… So I did actually hear it in a real-life situation, but I suppose that, as for many of these names, there are different pronunciations considered “correct” by the people whose name it is.

Comment from Daniel Blenkiron
Time: May 29, 2012, 10:40 am

It would be interesting to know where you heard/learnt the pronunciation ‘Blen-kir-on’. I’m Australian and we also pronounce our name ‘Blenk-iron’. My father went back to Yorkshire (where the name’s from) and met English Blenkirons who also pronounced the name ‘Blenk-iron’. I would say Blen-kir-on is a mispronunciation.

Comment from admin
Time: August 6, 2011, 7:03 pm

Thanks for your comments, John. I was very interested to hear that you’re a BLENK-arn. Also, thanks for the two verbs; I’m adding them today.

Comment from John Blenkiron
Time: August 5, 2011, 9:10 pm

Re : Verbs of Perambulation

Traipse and Tramp

Comment from John Blenkiron
Time: August 4, 2011, 6:01 am

I always wondered why some people moved the accent on my name to the last half. Must be from the British Isles.

Here in North America we are all BLENK iron. Sometimes the last part sounds like ‘arn’.

Comment from admin
Time: June 18, 2011, 2:52 pm

Thanks, Robin. I’m glad if it was helpful in any way.

Godspeed on your faith journey,

Comment from Robin Margolis
Time: June 15, 2011, 10:13 pm

Dear Elizabeth:

Enjoyed your essay for people considering joining the Episcopal Church!

Robin Margolis

Comment from Gary Schuldt
Time: May 7, 2009, 12:51 pm

Thanks for your list of “-INE”-words! Writing is a hobby of mine, and often I feel the desire to ascribe an animal property to something. For example, I just joined YouTube and had to pick a User Name; surprisingly, EweTyoube was not taken! It has both a British (pronunciation of Tyoube) and an ovine flavor. (Not that I am either British or woolly; it was just word-play!)

Thanks for your comment. I always love running into someone who is a fellow word freak! If you get a chance, please check out my Verbs of Perambulation and Vocalization–maybe you can help me fill in some blanks.

Comment from Doe Hart
Time: March 21, 2009, 5:36 pm

I love the links you provide. I’m new to NC and starting a business to promote events. My partner and I are bringing the author SARK(Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) to the Chapel Hill area Aug.25&26 and I’ve been looking at a lot of writer’s sites. Yours has intrigued me. We have a web site where you can find details about this event. I especially appreciate the link to get a human when you need to call large companies. I do thank you for that one.

Thanks, Doe! I’m so glad you enjoyed the site. Please come back and visit again.

Comment from JM
Time: February 17, 2009, 9:47 pm

This sight was really really helpful! Thank you so much!

You’re very welcome–I’m so glad you found it useful. Please come back and visit again.

Comment from Liz Scrimes
Time: November 2, 2008, 12:45 am

I was googling my maiden name and apparently we have the same name although I gave up my maiden name over 24 years ago. Just thought you’d like to know that there are at least two of us in the world.

Hi, Liz! Wow, I thought I was probably the only one. My name comes from a German great-grandfather and I’ve never run across it anywhere before. Do you know where yours comes from?

Comment from Irit
Time: June 11, 2008, 6:39 am

I want to introduce you to a site I found:

Enjoy it…

Thanks, Irit! It’s a wonderful site and I’m glad to know about it.

Comment from Evelyn Beiderbecke
Time: March 13, 2008, 5:24 pm

There is inspiration in excellent writing. I have read that writing is not about “ideas,” but is equivalent to constructing a house. I am one of those people who misuse words. A correctly used word can save a lot of unneccessary ones. So I need to be careful the kinds of houses I build.
Thank you.

Thanks for your thoughtful, and thought-provoking, comment. I’m glad if you found something on the site useful. Best of luck with the construction of your word-houses!

Comment from Stephanie Townsend
Time: August 19, 2007, 10:52 am

Wow! I’m pretty impressed that I managed to get in to this but MORE IMPRESSED with your site. No kidding, I’m quite gob-smacked, as we say in Blighty. I haven’t time to read through all the stuff in detail now but certainly will as and when time allows. You are a star!!!!

Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m glad you like the site and hope you’ll enjoy what you read on it.

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