Tag Archives: Friday the 13th

Different Rant

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Example of perfectly acceptable uses of the words ‘than’ and ‘from’.

My November Day Thirteen, and a Friday to boot.

And now for something completely different….

There is a ban

On ‘different than’

I learned that little rhyme in grade school and have never forgotten it.  When people use those two words together it sounds like lazy grammar and just grates on my nerves.  I want to correct them.  It’s ‘different from’.

Different FROM everybody!  Don’t be dumb, say different from.  That one I made up on my own.

I know both phrases are now acceptable, and maybe they were when I was taught that they weren’t, but it’s a good rule and I like it and it bugs me when it’s broken.  So stop saying it and writing it and thinking it in your head, okay?

Here is a convincing little blurb from my on-line dictionary.  Yes, I am still reading the dictionary.  I even downloaded the premier edition.  Is it geek week?

In formal writing, different from is generally preferred to different than. This preference has to do, in part, with the historical use of the word than. This term entered English as a conjunction often used with comparative adjectives, such as better, taller, shorter, warmer, lesser, and more, to introduce the second element in a comparison. Different is not a comparative adjective. Thus, when different than first started appearing in English, it sounded grating or less natural to discerning ears.

They are talking about my ears, attached to my anal brain.  This is almost as bad as mixing up YOUR and YOU’RE.  Almost.  Please tell me you’re not making this faux pas with your words.

I also read that in the UK it’s common to say ‘different to’.  Is that true?  It sounds backwards.  Although preferable to ‘than’.

The only instance in which different should be used with than is when you say something like

This house is different than I remember.

But you could also say

This house is different from what I remember.

Or you could simply pretend you don’t remember a damned thing about the house and shut up about it already.

I don’t usually rant on a Friday the 13th, or any other day really.  I have no idea from whence all this came.  Be thankful you aren’t having coffee with me and listening to this rather meaningless grammar lesson in real life.

Happy Friday everybody!

I think I will now get myself out of the house and into some fresh air, so tomorrow’s post will be pleasantly different FROM this one.

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Honey I’m Home

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When I told my daughter I was flying home on Friday the 13th she said “Oh my God mom, you’ll be the only one on the plane!”  But guess what – the plane was fully booked.  I guess there are a lot of fearless and not so superstitious souls out there. We made it from Winnipeg to Edmonton on time with a flight attendant who looked like Natalie Portman.  Only prettier.  If that’s even possible.

My son drove me to the airport when I left and my daughter picked me up this afternoon.  What awesome kids I have.  And then of course there’s W who made the trip to Winnipeg and back twice, not to mention putting up with me for two weeks in between.  All awesome and much appreciated.  I know, I know, I’m worth it, but still.

So now I’m back in siren city.  It is hot, hot, hot.  We are having the most incredible fall weather.  I will miss the call of the loons and watching the deer wander across the back lawn.  I won’t so much miss the geese honking their heads off in the middle of the night, or listening to the hourly trains as they whistle and rumble by on the other side of the river. I will miss the peace and quiet during the day, watching the eagles soar, and good times with great people.

It was a lovely relaxing holiday.  Still, it’s good to be home.

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