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Things to Ponder...

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

No Picture of Snapping Turtle?

Over this past week, I read about a very large snapping turtle that was washed onto the shore in Northern Wisconsin. Being from the Midwest and sometimes swimming in inland lakes, the title piqued my interest. As I finished the article, I realized the article didn't include a picture. If the headline includes a very unique event that occurred, it's probably a good idea to include a picture. Having seen snapping turtles in the wild, I have a pretty good idea of what a large snapping turtle may look like so a picture would have helped to complete the article. Even if they described the actual size would be more beneficial in lieu of not including an image to this story. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words.

Distinguish between Germany and Nazi Germany

I sometimes notice that some writers and article commentators confuse Nazi Germany with today's Germany. This may occur when talking about the start of WWII and the aftermath. Germany or Deutschland would be two terms used today to describe the present country in Central Europe. When you use 'Germany' to talk about the time around WWII, you're not describing the right term in your description. In this sense, you should use the term 'Nazi Germany' and not 'Germany.' Nazi Germany was defeated over 77 years ago, so using the correct terms could help clarify what you're trying to say. Present-day Germany is nothing like Nazi Germany. A different flag, military, mentality, national anthem, political system, and economic system. Just to be clear, former Nazi Germany and today's Germany are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Distinguish between the terms Reactive and Reactionary

Many people don't correctly differentiate between the terms reactive and reactionary. Often, when someone is trying to describe a reaction to a situation, they may say 'reactionary.' The correct term would be reactive (Acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it.) Reactionary is typically used in political thought, describing someone who opposites reform or social liberation ( A person or a set of views) opposing political or social liberalization or reform.) In other words, some think these terms could be used interchangeably because they are spelled similarly but again have two strictly different definitions.

Distinguish Between Farther and Further

Many English speakers tend to use farther and further interchangeably. Unlike reactive and reactionary, the terms have similar meanings. Not to be picky, but farther is used when being literal and discussing physical distance as in "She ran farther down the road." On the other hand, further is used when discussing symbolic distance as in "We needed to discuss it further, but we ran out of time."

In addition, further can be used as a very verb, you can "further a project" but you can't farther a project because farther doesn't have a verb sense.

Manhunt and never a woman hunt, wonder why?

When law enforcement authorities are looking for a particular person, they typically use the term 'manhunt' to describe what's occurring. However, you'll never hear a 'woman hunt' and I wonder why? Is this noun not used for serious crimes because the majority of serious illegal offenses are typically only created by males? Perhaps if the authorities are searching for a woman, then it becomes a 'person hunt' instead.

Manhole Cover Only?

Why do you refer to that round object on some roads and streets as a 'Manhole Cover?' Is it because women don't exactly work in this area of our town's infrastructure? It just occurred to me that this term may be construed by some as sexist. One community, the city of Berkeley, California, objected to this term and changed it to a gender-neutral term. I wouldn't recommend changing the name, however, it's interesting how many English speakers say that term and do not realize it's gender-specific (manhole).

All of a Sudden (5 syllables)

What I hear too often on podcasts is 'All of a Sudden' in place of 'Suddenly.' I don't get it, both mean very soon but the latter is 3 syllables and the former is 5. However, why do we hear 'All of a Sudden' more often even though it's 2 more syllables to say?

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