How do you say "-3": "negative three" or "minus three"? It sounds like a simple enough question. But a recent group discussion on LinkedIn generated over 60 contributions when I last checked. People seem to have very clear preferences as to what is "right."
I'm the parent who stopped with the baby talk when my boys were technically still babies, who counted the superfluous use of "like" in their sentences, and who made them repeat any statement they'd contorted into a question. Linguists say I was fighting evolution.
Arguing about proper English usage has been going on for centuries. According to Henry Hitchings in The Language Wars, verbal mistakes -- and disputes -- are legion, from Shakespeare's time to our own.
More than nine years have passed since the attacks of September 11th. Thousands of hours and pages of terrorism-related information remain untranslated. Yet, a soldier's ability to communicate on the ground is as vital to her or his safety as a bulletproof vest.
Around the age of two, our daughter started amusing us with a variety of linguistic amalgamations. She also started treating us as walking dictionaries, to fulfill her seemingly insatiable desire to learn how to say every single item she came across in both English and Italian.