Issue For January 22, 2007
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
I have to find five examples of ethos for newspapers, magazines, internet ect...But I left class yesterday more confused than anything. Can you help define ethos (since I don't understand my book content) and maybe list a few places to look? Thank you, Leigha.
Ethos can be briefly defined as the authority or credibility of the speaker or the writer. For instance, if one were speaking on military matters, having served in the military would strengthen their ethos; that is, they would be perceived as having more credibility than someone who had not served.
Another way of defining ethos is simply the appeal of the speaker. Credibility certainly makes a speaker more appealing but so does empathy. For instance, the famous saying "I feel your pain," is a move that establishes ethos.
I would recommend looking at news sites for stories on politicians. You could also look a television advertisements. Spokespeople (such as Michael Jordon for basketball shoes) use their ethos (their appeal) to persuade consumers to purchase the product.
Thank You, OwlMail
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
Why do English speakers write "an eighteen-month campaign"” rather than "an eighteen-months campaign"? Eighteen months is plural, and this should be reflected in the sentence. I know the grammar rule for pre-modification is that the measurement noun is singular, but for post-modification it is plural. But why is that? It does not make sense. --Michael Roehm, American University, Washington, DC
We say it this way (18 month) because the word "long" is tacit in the expression. Thus, the complete expression is "eighteen month long," but over time we have dropped the "long."
--Victor L. Halsig, Samuel Gompers Middle School/Los Angeles Unified School District
Could you please explain the correct use of "take" vs. "bring", i.e. I will take this with me; I will bring this with me. Thanks so much! Your tips help both me and my 11 and 13-year-old girls! --Michelle, Milwaukee
The two words have become more and more interchangeable in contemporary speech, but they imply distinct acts. "Take" implies leaving with something; "bring" implies arriving with something. You could take a cake from home and bring it to a party.
--Mike Burke, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
It may be clearer to use "take" or "bring" in terms of whether you are "coming or going." If I am coming to the event, I will bring my shoes, but if I am going to the event I will take my shoes. However, I think one may use take or bring interchangeably either way without offending the grammar police.
--Victor L. Halsig, S. Gompers Middle School/Los Angeles Unified School District
Additional Comments from previous questions
Last week's edition touched on the construction "for to." Your respondent, Aaron Minnick, said he couldn't think of other instances of this usage. I offer one: the English Christmas Carol "The Holly and the Ivy." Various versions I've heard use "for to." See some quick history at http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/holly_and_the_ivy.htm. For example, footnote 3 gives an alternate reading of "For to do us sinners good." Does this indicate the usage is either archaic or particularly British?
--Gordon E. Fish,
Next Week's Questions
What's Your Question?
If you have a question you'd like to ask our readers, please send it via our simple Web form.
What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...OWL Design Updates. OWL Webmaster Karl Stolley is working on visual design improvements to the OWL based on usability testing and user feedback. Watch for these changes in the coming weeks.
- OWL Eye On...Relative Pronouns.We have a new Relative Pronouns handout available! See the new handout here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/645/01/
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...OWL Eye On...ESL Conversation Groups. If English is not your native language and you need listening and speaking practice in English in an informal atmosphere, you are welcome to join an ESL conversation group in the Writing Lab at any or all of the scheduled times listed. There is no need to apply or register--just drop in! Conversation groups run: Monday 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Tuesday 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; Wednesday 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.; and Friday 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m
- OWL Eye On...Writing Lab Spring 2007 Schedule The Writing Lab is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. During this time, students are invited to use our computers, ask for a handout, read or study in the lab, or use any self-instruction materials that are available. Tutors are available for appointments during the following times: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For most (but not all) of the times listed for tutorial appointment, there is also drop-in tutorial help available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To make an appointment or to see whether there is a wait for drop-ins, call us at 494-3723.
This week's OWL News was edited by Dana Lynn Driscoll.