In their spoken and written expressions, many people use, misuse, and abuse words in the most extraordinary ways.
To set things straight -- and with a nod to Mrs. Malaprop (go on, Google it) -- I offer the following glossary, with which all writers, editors, and other communicators should become familiar.
Linguistic: A type of pasta. I'll have the linguistic with white clam sauce, please.
Grammar: Grampa's wife.
Quotation: A minimum for a given period. I need five more to make my quotation for the month.
Verbiage: Foliage that's still green.
Semicolon: What's left after surgery on the lower gastrointestinal tract.
Comma: What you're in if the above surgery doesn't go so good.
Period: Past tense of look. He period through the window.
Nominative: A candidate for political office.
Genetive: The first book of the Bible.
Predicate: Expecting a baby. My cousin Gladys is six months predicate.
Adverb: Very bad. She shot a 3 under par despite adverb weather conditions.
Communicator: Someone who gives you conjunction.
Pronoun: A noun that gets paid.
Phrase: A stage of life. He's just going through that awkward phrase.
Compendium: The 47th element on the Periodic Table.
Past perfect: Threw for a touchdown.
Dangling participle: Please, this is a family website.
Subjunctive: Tinged by personal opinion. Don't evaluate this project so subjunctively.
Preposition: A romantic suggestion. Felicia was appalled by Horatio's lewd preposition.
Apostrophe: A disaster.
Mnemonic: Something that helps you remember Satan's name at a networking event.
Subordinate clause: An elf.
Asterisk: In peril (of): Asterisk of sounding like a know-it-all, let me explain the Pythagorean theorem.
Parenthesis: A hare-brained notion your mom or dad came up with.
Hyphens: A Russian-born violinist.
Imperative: A drink before dinner.
A version of this article originally appeared on www.Ragan.com.