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The Word Guy with Rob Kyff

This Column Is Just Dessert

Pop quiz! See whether you can select the correct word in each context:

1. At the end of the novel, the cruel villain got his just (deserts, desserts).
2. The two armadas engaged in a fierce (naval, navel) battle.
3. The threat of icebergs caused the ship to (shear, sheer) off course.
4. When the mayor announced the curfew, a loud (hew, hue) and cry arose from the crowd.
5. The stern teacher insisted that his students (toe, tow) the line.
6. The prosecutor portrayed the defendant as an (arrant, errant) liar.
7. Your figures don't seem to (gibe, jibe) with mine.
8. Tom's (principle, principal) concern was the enormous cost of the project.
9. Sally's friends considered her to be very (straight-laced, strait-laced).
10. Henry placed the golf trophy on his fireplace (mantel, mantle). ----

Answers:
1. deserts -- One meaning of "desert" is something deserved or merited. "Dessert" means sweet food eaten after a meal.
2. naval -- "Naval"…

Vocabulary from Rob Kyff

Hello everyone!!Just wanted to share this one....guess it's quite interesting to add to your vocabulary...Anyway I will be out to visit a friend tomorrow to spend a New year there till a week..I will try to update my blog if I have time..I wish everyone a happy and blessed New Year!! Have some fun!! Best regards!!!
When Nouns Become Adverbs "I don't stay up nights worrying," said John Lennon in 1965. "Summers I used to cover Missouri," wrote Thornton Wilder in 1934. "I went over there afternoons," wrote Ernest Hemingway in 1929.

Why do we sometimes use nouns -- "nights," "summers" and "afternoons" -- as adverbs like this? In fact, this usage is a linguistic fossil, a remnant from the early history of English.

Today we use the genitive case of a noun to indicate possession, as in "night's coolness" or "summer's warmth." But in Old English, the genitive case could also indicate that a …