English Grammar Rule - Who's or Whose?

Today's English Grammar Rule reviews when to use WHO'S and WHOSE.

WHO’S and WHOSE is very similar to IT’S and ITS. Just like IT’S always means IT IS, WHO’S always means WHO IS. And just like ITS shows possession without an apostrophe, so does WHOSE. Below are examples that illustrate the correct usage of both:

WHO’S – Who’s (who is) going to host Thanksgiving this year?
WHOSE – Whose essay won the Chancellor prize?

English Grammar Rule - Composed of or Comprises

The most common misuse of COMPRISE is that people substitute it for IS COMPOSED OF, which is incorrect. COMPRISE means CONSITUTES. The key to using COMPRISE correctly is to test the sentence by substituting the word CONSTITUES for COMPRISE. If that word sound correct, then you've used COMPRISE correctly. Typically, a sentence that uses IS COMPOSED OF will be the reverse of a sentence that uses COMPRISE. Below are sentences to illustrate correct usage for each word.

COMPRISE: Research, MLA guidelines, and structure comprise first-year college writing.
COMPOSE: First-year college writing is composed of research, MLA guidelines, and structure.

English Grammar Rule - Medium and Median

Today's English Grammar Rule defines the often misused terms median and medium:

Median in the barrier (usually grassy or concrete) between lanes of traffic on a roadway; the midpoint in a series of numbers--but not necessarily the average, a term used in statistics that indicates the midpoint of distribution.

Medium has several definitions: average quantity or quality, someone who serves as an liaison between the living and the dead, a means for storing or communicating information (plural is media), and there are several other widely accepted definitions for this word.

Come back tomorrow for another English Grammar Rule.

English Grammar Rule - Cut the Muster or Mustard?

The saying (idiom) goes like this: Cut the Muster, not Cut the Mustard. The modern sense of the idiom is to succeed; to have the ability to do something; to come up to expectations.

Etymology or history: Its proponents often trace it to the American Civil War. We do have the analogous expression To pass muster, which probably first suggested this alternative; but although the origins of cut the mustard are somewhat obscure, the latter is definitely the form used in various sources of writing throughout the twentieth century. Common sense would suggest that a person cutting a muster is not someone being selected as fit, but someone eliminating the unfit.

Anecdote or Antidote?

Anecdote is a stort story, often humorous or relating events.
Antidote is a medicine, often counteracting poison.

Anecdote - The mothers all told similar anecdotes about their children's reaction to liver.
Antidote - Doctor Morrison immediately prescribed an antidote for snake bite.

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