Oatmeal Vocab

Oatmeal Vocab

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Oatmeal Vocab


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[10/12/15]   I'm an American English Teacher. Add me please and thank you. My name is Joey Arnold

[08/27/15]   Learn English like bats fly. Let your heart be your guide. Do what you can with what you have. Soar with your dreams, future, potential, & destiny. We are as blind as bats
We come out at night like bats & owls. We may be as blind as bats, but we are not as dirty as rats, & that's that. It takes one to know one. If you know rats, you may be a rat or you are on the way towards becoming America's Next Top Rat (not Model). We learn English like animals learn how to be animals, through instinctual integration. Learn English like a body builder through muscle memory in order to scare Alzheimer half to death. Bet, don't fret, the sweat, to let and get the pet of success. Take it like a man. No pain, no gain. Rome wasn't build in a day
You are Bat Man or Bat Girl. Fight English like Joker fights laughter and like Batman fights crime. Make it your duty, your passion, even as the cops run after you. Say the final sounds to words like you love them. Say it with passion like the French people. Emphasize the words like a clown, like Charles Chaplin with a microphone
You are a bat. You are not a rat. Have faith like bats. Have vision in the dark. Seek after your life goals with your built-in destiny phone app that is deep inside that thick skull of yours. I have this liars detector app inside of my Pinky & Brain head and I use it or lose it because now is the time to do what I got to do. Do it now like bats. Learn English Now. Tell her you love her now. Tell your parents you love them now. Go to school now. Find work now. Study harder now. Fight better now. Learn more now. Eat now. Sleep now. Do what you got to do now and remember that procrastination is not your friend but your enemy

[11/23/14]   What is hard to say?

[11/07/14]   Is "pronunciate" a word? At first it doesn't seem to be, but why not? "Pronunciation" and "pronunciative" seem to be words, so it would seem natural that "pronunciate" would be.

After Googling, I found the following here:

"Pronunciate" is a word that isn't listed in most dictionaries; Dictionary.com does mention it, but it noted that "pronunciate" is used rarely. If you use it, most people will think that you meant to use "pronounce" but screwed up. Our tip is that you use "pronounce" instead of "pronunciate," unless you want to look like a person who uses "irregardless."
"Pronunciate" can also be found on dictionary.com:

Definition: to declare or pronounce
Furthermore, I have heard the use of this word fairly often in speech. I have always assumed it was a word.

Despite all of this evidence, "pronunciate" seems to have very little usage (see dictionary.com link), and is not listed in most major dictionaries, including the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I have tried typing "pronunciate" on computers, and all spellcheck programs I have tried has flagged it as a typo.

Is "pronunciate" a word? Is it ok to use it in a sentence? This will probably come down to whether common usage has created this word. In you answer, please back yourself up with applicable evidence/proof.


word-usage is-it-a-word dictionaries register back-formations
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edited May 9 at 12:12

asked May 8 at 13:51


Some words are just mistakes that became words. It's annoying. But that's what pretty much all words are right now. Your teacher should mark you down for using pronunciate though. – Mitch
It is non-standard usage. If you want a (prescriptive) guide to standard American usage (in other words, a dictionary that will tell you what most people think is the "right" word to use in formal writing), the American Heritage Dictionary is a good resource. If you are looking for a descriptive dictionary that will tell you what most people actually use, the Merriam-Webster family of dictionaries are good for non-scholarly uses, and the Oxford English Dictionary is best for serious research of usage. All three likely would not include "pronunciate." – outis nihil

Could you supply a sample definition for pronunciate? I'm curious. – TRiG

@TRiG edited. To pronounce is to make the sound of a word in the correct or a particular way. – totallyuneekname May 8 at 15:27
Why not? Because pronunciation is formed from the verb pronounce, and it reduces the /aw/ vowel to /ə/ because the -ation suffix shifts the stress to the next syllable. *Pronunciate is a back-formation from pronunciation, but there appears to be no demand for another way to pronounce pronounce, so it's simply not used. OK? – John Lawler
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As there is the verb to pronounce from French prononcer and Latin pronuntiare, there is no need to coin a second verb from pronunciation.

To pronounce has been in use for over 500 years, so a second and longer verb is unnecessary.

shareimprove this answer
edited May 8 at 18:15

answered May 8 at 14:37

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Based on your research, it looks like many common dictionaries don’t contain that word.

You’re better off using pronounce instead of pronunciate.

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edited May 8 at 18:33

answered May 8 at 13:56

Jason Geffner

I didn't say that it's not a word; I said that many common dictionaries don't consider it a word. – Jason Geffner May 8 at 18:27
Ah but yes you did. The OED considers many things words that it does not itself mention. Therefore you cannot say that because a dictionary does not contain a word that it does not consider it a word. – tchrist May 8 at 18:28

"Ah but yes you did." - Eh, I don't agree with your view on what I said but there's really no point in us getting into an argument about it. "The OED considers many things words that it does not itself mention." - Fair enough; I've updated my answer above. – Jason Geffner
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Pronunciate is a word that has come into limited use due to a failure to properly hear or understand the word enunciate.

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edited May 8 at 18:14

answered May 8 at 14:36

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I have used it. And for those that argue against it, annunciate is in the Oxford dictionary when announce can be used.

...and so is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

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edited Jul 11 at 23:16

answered Jul 11 at 23:09


There is a general tendency I lament towards what I call "word inflation", which can be characterized as applying a principal I've just formulated (but which others may have formulated before me), "Why use a two syllable word when you can use a word with three syllables?" So, "pronounce" becomes "pronunciate", and the report which uses pronunciate instead of pronounce a thousand times, becomes a couple of pages longer, with no more effort than typing a couple thousand keystrokes. The latest manifestation of this I've notised is "Absolutely" for "yes". – brasshat

english.stackexchange.com 07/11/2014

Is "pronunciate" a word?

english.stackexchange.com Is "pronunciate" a word? At first it doesn't seem to be, but why not? "Pronunciation" and "pronunciative" seem to be words, so it would seem natural that "pronunciate" would be. After Googling, I ...

[11/06/14]   do you like grammar?

[10/20/14]   Imminent: destined to happen
Eminent: of higher rank
Immanent: inherent, inborn




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dictionary.reference.com 20/10/2014

Alot vs. A lot: 9 Language Crimes to Watch Out For by Dictionary.com


grammar.yourdictionary.com 16/10/2014

11 Rules of Grammar

Key Rules
1. Use Active Voice

Every human language starts an active sentence with the subject, or the "doer." In English, the verb (what's being done) follows the subject. If there is an object (the receiver of the action), it comes after the verb. The formula looks like this:

S+V+O. This rule is the foundation of the English language.

Here are some examples:

Mary walked the dog.
The dog liked Mary.
I did not like the dog.
2. Link Ideas with a Conjunction

Sometimes you want to link two ideas with a second S+V+O combination. When you do, you need a coordinating conjunction. The new formula looks like this:


Coordinating conjunctions are easy to remember with an acronymic mnemonic device:


3. Use a Comma to Connect Two Ideas As One

FANBOYS are used when connecting two ideas as one in a single sentence, but don't forget the comma.

For example:

I do not walk Mary's dog, nor do I wash him.
Mary fed her dog, and I drank tea.
Mary feeds and walks her dog every day, but the dog is still hyperactive.
4. Use a Serial Comma in a List

The serial, or Oxford, comma is a controversial rule of grammar. Some want to eliminate it altogether while others just don't know how to use it. The serial comma is the last comma in a list, usually appearing before "and." The serial comma comes after "dog" in this sentence:

Pets R Us has lizards, dogs, and birds.

Commas separate units in a list. In the above case, each unit only has one part, so it's easy. Where people get confused is when the units are bigger, but the rule still applies:

Pets R Us has lizards and frogs, dogs and cats, and parakeets and macaws.

Notice that the serial comma comes before "and" but not the last "and" in the sentence. The "and" that follows the comma is only there because it sounds better. Grammatically, "and" is irrelevant. Only units matter.

5. Use the Semicolon to Join Two Ideas

A list of grammar rules has to include the scariest of punctuation marks. It might look funny, but don't be afraid of the semicolon; it's the easiest thing in the world to use! Say you want to join two ideas but can't figure out or can't be bothered to use a coordinating conjunction. The two ideas can be separate sentences, but you think that they are so closely connected; they really should be one. Use a semicolon.

Mary's dog is hyperactive; it won't stop barking or sit still.
My heart is like a cup of Lapsang Souchong tea; it's bitter and smoky.
Mary has to walk her dog every day; it is the most hyperactive dog anyone has ever seen.
6. Use the Simple Present Tense for Habitual Actions

The simple present is the tense you use for any habitual action. The things you always do or do every Tuesday are described with the simple present, which just means you pick the first form of any verb.

Mary likes dogs.
I don't walk Mary's dog.
Mary and I drink tea every Tuesday together.
7. Use the Present Progressive Tense for Current Action

The present progressive tense is for anything that is happening right now. All of the progressive tenses are easy to spot because their verbs always end with "-ing" and get a helping verb. A helping verb is just so we know who and when we're talking about. In the present progressive, the helping verbs are the present tense conjugations of "to be."

I am drinking Lapsang Souchong tea.
The barking dogs outside are driving me crazy.
Mary is playing with her hyperactive dog.
8. Add "ed" to verbs for the Past Tense

When we talk about the past, we have to add an "-ed" to regular verbs to make the second form. Irregular verbs are tricky and have their own sets of rules. Drink, for example, turns to "drank." Most of the time, though, "-ed" will do.

I drank a lot of Lapsang Souchong tea yesterday, but Mary didn't.
The dogs stopped barking two seconds ago, and I am feeling better.
Mary played fetch with her hyperactive dog.
9-11. Use Perfect Tenses
Practice makes perfect with the perfect tenses. Here are three rules to finish the 11 rules of grammar. If you remember these, you'll be well on your way to perfection.

9. Use Present Perfect for the Unfinished Past

The present perfect can be confusing for some, but it is one of the most important rules of grammar. When people talk about things that have already happened but consider the time in which they occurred to be unfinished, they use the third form of the verb with a helping verb. The helping verb for the present perfect is the present tense conjugation of "to have."

I have drunk three cups of Lapsang Souchong tea today.
Mary's hyperactive cur dog has bitten me three times so far.
Mary has walked her hyperactive poodle 100 times this week.
Unfortunately, the only way to know the third forms of verbs is to remember them.

10. Use Present Perfect Progressive for Unfinished Action and Past

When the action as well as the time is considered unfinished, the verb loads up on third form helping verbs ("to be" and "to have") and changes to the progressive form.

Western countries have been waging wars in the Middle East for thousands of years.
I have been drinking tea all day.
Mary's dog has been barking like crazy since it was born.
11. Use Past Perfect for the First of Two Past Actions

When two things happen in the past, we have to mark which one happened first. The one that happened first changes to third form and gets the helping verb, "had."

By the time I drank one cup of Lapsang Souchong, Mary's dog had barked a million times.
I had not yet eaten breakfast when Mary walked her dog.
Mary couldn't stop laughing; her dog had bitten me again.


grammar.yourdictionary.com Here are the 11 most important rules of grammar to help you select words and punctuation.


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Oatmeal Joey Arnold