“Mic” Rhymes with “Bic”

According to the way it’s pronounced, the shortened form of “microphone” belongs to the same category as words like “bike,” “hike,” “like,” and “pike” when it is written. That is to say, it should be spelled “mike,” not “mic.”

Questionable Past Tense of “Tread”

The use of the adjective “well-tread” in the November/December 2016 issue of Writer’s Digest had me puzzled. The context was an article on the topic of writing about subjects that have already been frequently written about: The title of the article is “The Road Already Taken.” This tag appears under it: With the right approach,…

Raring To Go

A reader asked me, “How does a word like rare become idiomatically used to mean eager, as in ‘raring to go’?” Answer: It didn’t. The rare in “raring to go” has nothing to do with the adjective that means, “seldom found.” The rare in raring is an altered pronunciation of the verb to rear: “to…

Grammar Alert: “Me” and “I”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette cartoonist John Deering’s political cartoon in the editorial section for April 27 has me puzzled. I’m not entirely clear as to what the cartoonist’s chief message is, but the secondary message bothers me a lot.