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Joking Apart

A: Alan Ayckbourn Pf: 1978, Scarborough Pb: 1979 G: Com. in ...

pass muster

pass muster   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
389 words

...Litt , “The Mall, Unhallowed,” Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 11 May 1997 , at I8. Quite apart from that error, the phrase invites condiment-inspired puns—e.g.: “The seventh and newest Wienermobile to crisscross America is a bite-sized vehicle compared to Oscar Mayer's beloved hot-dog fleet. But the ‘mini’ has proved this summer to, um, pass mustard .” Tom Alesia , “Oscar Mayer Takes Bite Out of Wienermobile,” Wis. State J . , 6 Aug. 2008 , at A1. Sadly, it's no joke sometimes—e.g.: • “Asked about albums he digs from the past decade, [Joel] O’Keeffe cites...

either

either   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
883 words

...item being itemized so that the clauses following either and or are exactly parallel in structure; other usage writers have made the same claim. So, in his example sentence You are either joking or have forgotten the clauses are not parallel, because the subject you has been left out of the second one, but the clauses are parallel in Either you are joking or you have forgotten . In examples such as this, repeating the grammatical subject will, to my mind, make the sentence rather starchy, while leaving it out seems justified by a natural process of...

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