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Jun 16, 2019

Father's Day vs. Fathers Day vs. Fathers' Day – Which Is Really Correct?

Father's Day vs. Fathers Day vs. Fathers' Day – Which Is Really Correct?

So what is the proper punctuation? Is it Father’s Day or Fathers Day? Or is it like April Fools’ Day and punctuated Fathers’ Day?


In this post, we’ll go through the arguments for each variant and then, at the end, advise you as to what we think is the proper way to write the holiday.
Father's Day vs. Fathers Day vs. Fathers' Day – Which Is Really Correct?

Fathers Day: No Apostrophe
The argument for this variant is that the fathers do not own the day itself. The day is a day "for"  fathers, not a day "belonging to" fathers, and, since no possession is involved, there is no need for an apostrophe.

This variant has, in recent years, been gaining traction in British English—being argued that apostrophes are not necessary when “for” is implied and not “belonging to.”

Fathers’ Day: Apostrophe After the “S”
The argument for this variant is the same argument for the spelling of April Fools’ Day, and that is that there are many fathers in the world, and this is all of their day. Therefore, the plural possessive is necessary.

Father’s Day: Apostrophe Before the “S”
The argument for this variant is that the holiday belongs to fathers as individuals as they relate to an individual family. And since the holiday is a day where children recognize their respect and gratitude for their own father, the day is unique to him, giving him ownership over the day and therefore requiring an apostrophe before the “s.”

Which is Correct spelling?
We ultimately side with the traditional use of “Father’s Day,” with the apostrophe before the “s.” We do so for a few reasons.

Firstly, Father’s Day is an officially recognized holiday and, in the United States at least, the official spelling of the holiday is in fact “Father’s Day.” Additionally, both AP Style and Chicago Style call for the singular possessive “Father’s Day.”

Secondly, the argument for the variant “Fathers Day” is not particularly compelling when you keep in mind that the day to which the possession is referring is the holiday. It is correct that fathers do not own the third Sunday in June, but they do own the holiday “Father’s Day” that happens to fall on that day. And if fathers do not own it, who does? Mothers certainly don’t.

Thirdly, Father’s Day is meant to honor fathers as individuals as they relate to a specific family. It was not meant to be a day honoring all fathers of the world or to honor fathers as a collective group.

The Oxford English Dictionary notes that Father’s Day is “A day for recognition of the respect and gratitude felt by children toward their fathers.”

This is the difference between Father’s Day and April Fools’ Day. For Father’s Day, people are celebrating fathers as individual people as they relate to their own families. April Fools’ Day, however, is a day to recognize all of the fools in the world, a collective group. You rarely have one fool—or even a small set of fools—in mind when you speak about April Fools’ Day, which is probably why the day is also called All Fools’ Day. So, while the plural possessive makes sense for the fools of the world, it does not for the fathers.

This is also the reason why it is generally understood that there is no social obligation to wish someone who is not your father a “Happy Father’s Day.” For instance, you would wish anyone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year” during the holiday season, but you don’t go around wishing just anyone a “Happy Father’s Day” on Father’s Day. This is because Father’s Day is meant to honor fathers as individuals, not a collective group.

History of Father’s Day
Father’s Day actually has a history that is interestingly relevant to the discussion of how to properly punctuate the holiday. The credit for the modern holiday of Father’s Day generally goes to Sonora Dodd. Dodd was one of six children who were raised in a single-parent household by Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart.

Dodd envisioned a holiday similar to Mother’s Day but honoring fathers. Mother’s Day was specifically designed to be singular possessive, “for each family to honor its mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers of the world.” But Dodd, in her original petition to recognize Father’s Day, used “Fathers’ Day,” and not the singular possessive that is traditionally used for Mother’s Day.

The spelling “Father’s Day,” however, was already used in 1913 when the first bill attempting to nationalize the holiday was introduced into Congress, and even though the holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, it still retained the apostrophe after the “s.”

Capitalization
Remember also that since Father’s Day is a holiday, it should always be capitalized. So, if you see “Father’s day” or “father’s day,” make sure to capitalize them.

REMEMBER THAT
We have Presidents’ Day, and also April Fools’ Day.

The debate continues

© Joseph Baidoo
Joseph Baidoo is a Ghanaian and is popularly known on social media as Misty Joe.

Jun 15, 2019

The Reason Why “In all ramifications” Does Not Mean “In all aspects” Except in Metaphorical Sense

The Reason Why “In all ramifications” Does Not Mean “In all aspects” Except in Metaphorical Sense

The Reason Why “In all ramifications” Does Not Mean “In all aspects” Except in Metaphorical Sense
Nigerian English speakers say "in all ramifications" to mean "in all aspects," or "in all dimensions." However, "ramifications" (note that it's often pluralized) is widely understood among native English speakers to mean an "unwelcome consequence," as in, "The murder of the soldier is bound to have grave ramifications for the community."

"Ramification" is a derivative of "ramify," which literally means to grow branches. So, ramification can mean branches, an arrangement of branching parts, units of a complex structure, etc. as in, "he broke off one of the ramifications." I think when Nigerian English speakers say "in all ramifications" to mean "in all aspects," or "in all dimensions," they are metaphorically extending the literal meaning of ramification (i.e., the branches of a tree). Although the usage is unidiomatic and nonstandard, I think it is legitimate. Unfortunately, native English speakers are unlikely to understand this peculiarly Nigerian usage of the term.

© Prof. Farooq A. Kperogi

Jun 14, 2019

The Difference between a Signpost, a Signboard and a Billboard

The Difference between a Signpost, a Signboard and a Billboard

These three names are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Our differentiation today is based on only a simple principle, not on technical or expert analysis.

In terms of size, the billboard is usually the largest; followed by the signboard, and then the signpost.

signpost is a pole with a sign on it, especially showing the way to a place, the distance to be travelled, or the name of a road.
The Difference between Signpost, Signboard and Billboard
A signpost
signboard is a board or a sign with information on it or showing the name of a business, school, hospital, church, etc.
The Difference between Signpost, Signboard and Billboard
A signboard
billboard is a very large board on which advertisements are shown, especially at the side of a road.
The Difference between Signpost, Signboard and Billboard
A billboard

© Eric Nuamah Korankye

Jun 13, 2019

A Brief History of English Vocabulary

A Brief History of English Vocabulary

Language is no stranger to change. In fact, it reflects everything that happens in life. If it is out there, there must be a word for it. We have witnessed the most amazing number of changes in society in recent decades. Many of them have taken place so rapidly that some of us can scarcely keep up with the speed of change. Join me as we travel back to fish out for the history and changes that have happened to English as a language.
A Brief History of English Vocabulary
An obvious example of how events in a particular country affect language is the effect that the various invaders of what are now the British Isles had on the English language. For example, the Vikings may be best remembered for their plundering and pillaging, but they left behind a useful linguistic heritage. Thanks to them we have words such as law, skill, egg, knife, skate and many more.

The Norman invasion, masterminded by William the Conqueror in 1066, gave rise to even more words entering the English language.

The French influence gave us justice, money, action and village, to name but a few.

English explorers and traders also contributed to the growth of the English language by bringing back words from various places they visited. For example, the language acquired umbrella, granite, and bandit from ITALIAN. Bungalow, cot, shampoo and chintz from HINDI and cigarcork and negro were gotten from SPANISH. This last word (negro) was to cause much controversy in later times and came to be regarded as very offensive.


The Renaissance of the 16th and 17th centuries, with its revival of classical scholarship and a renewed interest in Latin and Greek, had a great effect on the English language. During this time, many Latin and Greek words ended up in English. A few examples include crisis, vital, locate, credible, exclaim, and apparatus.

Over the centuries, there have been many sources that have provided new words for the English language. From Japanese, English has acquired judo, tsunami, karaoke and sushi. From Chinese, the language acquired tea, ketchup and kowtow, and from Yiddish, spielkosher and chutzpah were acquired.

From Russian, English acquired czar/tsarglasnosticon, perestroika and vodka, and Australia supplied it with boomerangbudgerigar and kangaroo. It seems that the English language is like a magpie, forever picking up new shiny items to add to its already rich store. Do not see it as a prostitute.

©Joseph Baidoo
Joseph Baidoo is a Ghanaian and is popularly known on social media as Misty Joe.
How the Meaning of the Word ‘Silly’ Changed from ‘Happy’ to ‘Foolish’

How the Meaning of the Word ‘Silly’ Changed from ‘Happy’ to ‘Foolish’

How the Meaning of the Word ‘Silly’ Changed from ‘Happy’ to ‘Foolish’
The changes in the English language are by no means restricted to vocabulary additions. Changes also occur once the words are part of the English language. Sometimes the changes involve meaning. A classic historical example of meaning change relates to the word SILLY.

Now it means ‘foolishlacking sense or judgement’, but this meaning only evolved gradually. The word ‘silly’ is derived from Old English ‘gesaelig’, meaning ‘happy’. This became first ‘seely’ in Middle English and then ‘silly’. As the form of the word changed, so did its meaning.  It went from meaning ‘happy’ to meaning ‘blessed or pious’.


The change in the meaning of silly continued. From ‘pious’ the meaning became ‘innocent’ then ‘harmless’ and then ‘to be pitied’. This became ‘feeble’ and then ‘feeble in the mind’.

From this, it was an easy step to the modern meaning of the word. This is, of course, an example of a change that is both extreme and historical.

©Joseph Baidoo
Joseph Baidoo is a Ghanaian and is popularly known on social media as Misty Joe.

NYSC: Date for the 2019 Batch 'B' Stream ‘II’ Online Registration Announced

NYSC: Date for the 2019 Batch 'B' Stream ‘II’ Online Registration Announced

NYSC: Date for the 2019 Batch 'B' Stream ‘II’ Online Registration Announced
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) says its registration portal for the 2019 Batch ‘B’ Stream ‘II’ mobilization exercise will be officially opened for prospective corps members (PCMs) on Wednesday, June 19.


In a statement released on its Twitter page on Tuesday, the management of the scheme also informed the 2019 Batch ‘B’ Stream ‘I’ Prospective Corps Members (PCMs) that they (PCMs) will no longer have access to the portal as their registration comes to an end on Wednesday, June 12.
NYSC: Date for the 2019 Batch 'B' Stream ‘II’ Online Registration Announced

Jun 12, 2019

Nwobu Emeka Johnbosco Spotted in Abuja with Other Nigerian and Foreign Artists

Nwobu Emeka Johnbosco Spotted in Abuja with Other Nigerian and Foreign Artists

It was a joyous moment for Nwobu Emeka Johnbosco, the first Nigerian and black man to exhibit his artworks in the Philippines, as he bonded with other Nigerian and foreign artists at a group exhibition which took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria.


The exhibition was titled ‘Reflection’ and has its opening ceremony done by Mr Ndu White. See photos below.
Nwobu Emeka Johnbosco Spotted in Abuja with Other Nigerian and Foreign Artists
Nwobu Emeka Johnbosco













The Difference between Login and Log in

The Difference between Login and Log in

The Difference between Login and Log in

As regards the difference between Log in and Login, here is what Eric Nuamah Korankye (Hamlet), the author of Before Breakfast Lessons (BBL), has got to say:

Log in (written as two words) is a phrasal verb. It means "to gain access to a computer system, usually by providing...a username and password". Other synonyms are "sign in", "log on", etc.

Login (written as one word) is a noun. It is a user's identification (username, password) used to enter a computer, programme, network, etc.

Examples
1. You should login to your account first. (Wrong)

Correct form: You should log in to your account first.

2. I have forgotten my log in. (Wrong)

Correct form: I have forgotten my login.


To further validate the authenticity of Eric's submission on the subject matter, below is a usage note from dictionary.com:

“Many who are neither professionals in the computer field nor amateur tech enthusiasts condemn the use of the solid form login as a verb, and with reason. It doesn’t behave like a normal verb. You cannot say you have loginned, and you are never in the process of loginning.

Moreover, you cannot even ask someone to login you; you must ask that person to log you in. Clearly, it is the two-word phrase log in that functions fully as an English verb and not the solid form. Normally, we would expect log in,the verb phrase and login, the noun to behave in the same way as similar pairs: blow out/blowout, crack down/crackdown, hang up/hangup, splash down/splashdown, turn off/turnoff, where the two-word phrase is a verb and the one-word form a noun. 

And yet, this gluing together of terms like login, logon, backup, and setup as verbs is common, especially in writing about computers. Not for everyone, however. Some well-known software companies, for example, carefully maintain the distinction in their programs and documentation.

But habits are difficult to change. Those who react to the one-word verb as an error will probably have to get used to it, and those who use the one-word verb will have to recognize that others will see it and wince.”
The Difference between Foreign and International

The Difference between Foreign and International

The Difference between Foreign and International

These two words are often used interchangeably, but they are not entirely the same. The adjective "foreign" means "belonging or connected to a country that is not your own." "International", on the other hand, means "involving more than one country."


Per these definitions, one can say that something can be foreign but not "international". The Akan language is a "foreign" language to non-Ghanaians, but it doesn't mean the language is an "international" one. The French language is "foreign" to Ghanaians (because that is not their home language) and at the same time it is "international" (because it is generally/widely spoken or accepted around the world as language for trade, business, education, etc. Consider more examples to validate this distinction. 

© Eric Nuamah Korankye

Jun 11, 2019

British English vs. American English: Still Two Separate Languages. Part 1

British English vs. American English: Still Two Separate Languages. Part 1

It is still not at all surprising that British English has been influenced by American English. America has a powerful influence on the world generally, and many foreign students now learn American English rather than British English.
British English vs. American English: Still Two Separate Languages. Part 1


What is surprising is that the two languages have remained quite far apart despite the globalization of communication. Britain still has 'pavements' while America has 'sidewalks'. Britain still has 'bonnets' and 'boots' in cars while America has 'hoods' and 'trunks'. In Britain, a 'vest' is something you wear under a shirt or other top (known as an 'undershirt' in America) while in America it is worn over a shirt and under a jacket (mostly known as a 'waistcoat' in Britain).


A 'nappy' is still a 'nappy', rarely a 'diaper'; a 'chemist' might be a 'pharmacy', but not a 'drugstore', and a 'motorway' has not become an 'expressway' – and not just because the term is hardly appropriate given the incidence of traffic hold-ups in Britain.

Even relatively new inventions have gone their different linguistic ways, so British English has 'mobiles' while American English has 'cell phones' (or 'cells').


However, things are beginning to pick up pace and more and more American English words are finding their way to British shores. French fries have made it across the Atlantic to Britain, and the British ‘lift’ is sometimes known by its American name, ‘elevator’.

The British ‘lorry’ is now quite often called a ‘truck’, an ‘aerial’ is frequently called an ‘antenna’ and ‘films’ are becoming ‘movies’.

Increasingly, this trend is fast becoming a two-way process and British words are also crossing the Atlantic with more and more Britishisms being spotted in American English. Tammys English Blog is collecting examples of them.

The globalization of our media and social media seems to be having an impact: British words like ginger, snog, trendy, afters, trainers, fortnight, peckish are appearing more and more regularly in American texts. 

Anything could happen in the future. But the major differences between the two languages have lasted a long time.

© Joseph Baidoo
Joseph Baidoo is a Ghanaian and is popularly known on social media as Misty Joe.

Note: This is a series on British English vs. American English: Still Two Separate Languages. Always visit this blog to learn more on this series.