학술논문, 교정, 번역, 워크숍 등에 대한 문의사항이나 궁금하신 점이 있으시면
언제라도 글을 남겨주세요.
I am _______ hungry because I didn’t eat breakfast.
The correct answer is b) especially.
The adverbs specially and especially are often confused. Especially means “extra” or “particularly”.
I am especially hungry because I didn’t eat breakfast. (extra)
I like to eat pancakes, especially blueberry pancakes. (particularly)
We cannot use “especially” as a comment adverb at the beginning of a sentence. When positioned at the beginning of a sentence, it is unclear what the adverb modifies. For example:
(X) Especially, he was tired.
In the above sentence, we don’t know if the speaker’s intended meaning is:
(O) He was especially tired. (extra)
(O) Everyone was tired, but especially him. (particularly)
“Specially” is used to identify a specific purpose.
This car was specially designed to save on gas.
These baby clothes were specially made to fit premature infants.
Note that sometimes we use “especially” like “specially” to mean “for a particular purpose”.
(O) This car was especially designed to save on gas.
(O) This car was specially designed to save on gas.
However, the reverse is not true. We cannot use “specially” to mean “extra” or “particularly”.
(X) He was specially tired.
Adding to the confusion, occasionally these sounds are mispronounced. Children sometimes say “specially” instead of “especially” due to difficulty with the initial cluster of sounds, and Spanish speakers of English sometimes say “especially” instead of “specially” because their language doesn’t have the “sp” sound in initial position.
We at Compecs Connection hope to have helped you be especially careful using these special words.
Jim called ____ to find the cheapest price on his prescription.
The correct answer is a) around. To “call around” means to telephone several people or organizations to obtain information.
If you call around, you might be able to find a store that’s open.
b) To “call in” a loan means to require full payment from the borrower.
They lost the house when the loan was called in and they couldn’t pay it off.
To “call in to work” means to telephone an employer. The expression is common when someone is running late or cannot go to work.
When he caught COVID-19, Steve called in to let the boss know he wouldn’t be coming to work.
c) To “call off” means to cancel.
The wedding was called off at the last minute.
d) One definition of “call out” means to shout or speak loudly to attract attention.
The man called out for help.
“Call out” can also be used to mean to draw attention to someone whose behavior is unacceptable.
Jimmy was called out for cheating during the game.
Join us next time at Compecs Connection!
If someone tells you to “keep it on the down low,” what should you do?
a) Store something on a bottom shelf
b) Rent an apartment on floors 1, 2, or 3
c) Sell something for a reduced price
d) Be discreet about sharing information
The correct answer is d). Keep it on the down low is a request to keep information secret.
We can use a very similar expression “keep it down low” in relation to storing something on a lower shelf. However, we would not understand “keep it on the down low” to have any connection to a low physical location or low price.
Interestingly, the expression “give me the lowdown” is almost the opposite request. Give me the lowdown is a request for someone to share important information.
We hope you have the lowdown on downlow.
See you next time at Compecs Connection.
If someone tells you to “keep it down,” you are probably:
a) Drinking too much
b) Talking too loudly
c) Driving too fast
d) Doing a great job at something
The most likely situation in which you would hear this expression is b), when you are making too much noise. “Keep it down” is synonymous with “be quiet” and can be directed at a group such as a classroom of noisy children, or at an individual such as a loud neighbor. It is not a call for absolute silence, but rather for a substantial reduction in noise. While fairly abrupt, “keep it down” is softer than the expression “shut up,” which is considered rude. “Please keep it down” or “Would you mind keeping it down” are slightly more polite ways to chastise people for making too much noise.
“I can’t keep anything down” is an expression someone might use when they are ill and have been vomiting.
“Keep you speed down” could be used to caution a driver to slow down due to a dangerous stretch of road or a nearby police officer.
“Keep it up” is an expression we use to encourage someone to continue doing something good.
Here at Compecs Connection, we hope to help you keep up the good work.
Happy New Year! How do you predict Americans will read this date: January 1, 2022?
a) January one, two-thousand twenty-two
b) January first, two-thousand twenty-two
c) January one, twenty twenty-two
d) January first, twenty twenty-two
While we can’t be certain, our prediction is d). Following is the typical pattern for reading dates.
Americans read the month as written.
For the numerical day, 1, 2, and 3 are read as first, second, and third, and this convention extends to 21, 22, 23, and 31, which are read twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, and thirty-first. The remaining numbers 4-20 and 24-30 are read with the addition of the voiceless “th” sound at the end. For example, four becomes fourth, and so on.
When reading the year, the counting pattern diverges. When counting or stating quantity, we pronounce the word “thousand,” but when reading dates, the first 2 digits are said as one number and the second two digits as another number. For the first 19 centuries, “zero” is said as “oh,”.
1492: One thousand four hundred and ninety-two (counting/quantity) / Fourteen ninety-two (year)
1801: One thousand eight hundred and one (counting/quantity) / Eighteen "oh" one (year)
Interestingly, in the first 10 years of the current century, this pattern was not commonly employed. Americans simply didn’t adopt the expression “twenty oh” and instead pronounced the full number for the year, including the word “thousand.”
2001: Two thousand and one (counting) / Two thousand one (year)
2009: Two thousand and nine (counting) / Two thousand nine (year)
People began to adopt both pronunciations of the date from 2010:
2012: Two thousand and twelve (counting) / Two thousand twelve or twenty twelve (year)
For this year, the pronunciation “twenty-twenty-two” or “twenny-twenny-two” rolls off the tongue, so we predict it will fall into favor over “two thousand twenty-two.”
However you say it, Compecs wishes you the best in 2022!
What did you _________ at the doctor’s office?
b) find out
Although both answers are technically possible, the logical answer in this context is b) find out.
To find out is to discover a piece of information.
At the doctor’s office, Tonya found out that she was pregnant.
To find is to discover someone or something unexpectedly.
Tonya found a diamond ring on the bathroom sink at the doctor’s office.
Tonya ___________that her sister was adopted. (found out)
Tonya ___________ her cell phone in the parking lot. (found)
Tonya ___________ her cell phone had been hacked. (found out)
We hope you find joy and pleasure in the new year!
“So were you good this year?” is a question we ask around what holiday?
c) New Year’s
The correct answer is b) Christmas.
As a conversation starter around Christmas, adults may ask children or other adults, “So were you good this year?” This question means, “Do you expect to receive a lot of presents at Christmas?” (If asked after Christmas, it means “Did you receive a lot of presents at Christmas?”)
American children who celebrate Christmas have traditionally been told that Santa Claus keeps a list of which children were naughty and which children were nice during the year. Well-behaved children expect to be rewarded with gifts at Christmas, and naughty children may receive a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking instead of presents.
The response to this question is some version of how many presents a person expects to or did receive.
Adult: So were you good this year?
Child: Pretty good. I hope Santa brings me lots of toys.
Adult: So were you good this year?
Adult: I must have been. Santa brought me a new car!
The bank required that the house be _________ before agreeing to provide a mortgage.
The correct answer is a) appraised.
Appraise means to determine the value of something, such as land, a home, or jewelry. Typically, an insurance company or a money lender may require that property be appraised to assure that the actual value of the property is equivalent to the asking price.
Mr. Lee had the diamond necklace appraised for insurance purposes.
Assess means to determine the amount or the rate of something. Assess is commonly used in relation to taxes, although the verb can be used more broadly.
The assessed value of a home for tax purposes is usually lower than the market value of a home. (amount)
Taxes were assessed at 7%. (rate)
The doctor assessed the damage to her lungs.
An audit is an inspection of financial records performed by an independent accountant or agency official. An audit is usually performed to determine whether a company is maintaining accurate and truthful records.
After the business was audited, the CEO went to jail for fraud.
Which verb is most likely to be used to express a reduction approaching zero?
The answer is c) dwindle.
All of these verbs are used to express a reduction in something. When we use the verb “lessen,” it is understood that some residual remains after the reduction. “Diminish” is typically used in the same way as lessen (implying that there is residual, even though it is not impossible to diminish something to zero). The best choice to express that supplies are running out or that something is lessening to the point of being almost nonexistent is the word “dwindle”.
(X) His bank account lessened to nothing.
(?) His bank account diminished to nothing.
(O) His bank account dwindled to nothing.
(O) Attendance lessened by 1/3.
(O) Attendance diminished by 1/3.
(O) Attendance dwindled until almost no one came to the games.
Interestingly, it sounds a little odd to use an agent with these 3 verbs. To show agency, we might be more likely to use “reduce” or “decrease” (verbs discussed in our last installment).
(O) Bob reduced his donation.
(O) Bob decreased his donation.
(?) Bob lessened his donation.
(X) Bob diminished his donation.
(X) Bob dwindled his donation.
See you next time at Compecs Connection!
Which of these words can be used in both of the following sentences?
Jin’s pants were too long, so she __________ them.
Jin used to work nights before her boss ________ her hours.
The correct answer is c) shortened.
Although these 3 synonyms are often interchangeable, there are some distinctions.
The first sentence refers to a measurement of distance. When we shorten clothing, it means that we reduce the vertical distance from the bottom of the clothing to the ground. However, when we decrease or reduce clothing, it means that we shrink the horizontal fit (or size) of the clothing around the body.
(O) Jin’s pants were too long so she shortened them.
(X) Jin’s pants were too long so she reduced them.
(X) Jin’s pants were too long so she decreased them.
(O) Jin lost weight, reducing her dress size from 66 to 55.
(O) Jin lost weight, decreasing her dress size from 66 to 55.
(X) Jin lost weight, shortening her dress size from 66 to 55.
When referring to time, the word ‘decrease’ can carry a sense that a reduction is gradual, whereas ‘shorten’ may carry the sense of a more abrupt action.
(O) When his wife got sick, Tom abruptly shortened his vacation.
(X) When his wife got sick, Tom abruptly decreased his vacation.
(?) When his wife got sick, Tom abruptly reduced his vacation.
Also note that with ‘decrease,’ the passive form does not seem to be acceptable in some cases. It’s unclear whether this is due to the sense of abruptness versus graduality or for other reasons.
(O) The distance from Jin’s house to work was shortened after she moved to Seoul. (okay)
(O)The distance from Jin’s house to work was reduced after she moved to Seoul. (better)
(X) The distance from Jin’s house to work was decreased after she moved to Seoul. (unacceptable)
Please join us next time at Compecs Connection for a further discussion on words of reduction.