4
votes
8answers
264 views

encapsulating a positive thing among many negative things

Is there a phrase that encapsulates 'this is a positive thing among many negative things'? Context: I need to find a name for an article I am writing - which is about how a person turned everything ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

“Act as a decoy” vs. “act as _ decoy”: The Case of the Vanishing Article

A quote from The Economist: This was also the young woman—she was 19 or 20 then—who could turn her aircraft over and dive full-throttle through raking German searchlights, swerving and ...
9
votes
5answers
705 views

Do idioms pose an exception to normal definite and indefinite article usage?

I found this phrase in my biology textbook (emphasis added): ...in relation to Earth's history, 100,000 years or even a million years is the blink of an eye. The part of the phrase in question ...
4
votes
2answers
163 views

“To market, to market, to buy a fresh pig” vs “To the markets” valid English?

Is the phrase "to market" as in "going to the markets" valid use of the English language? I can think of two examples in local Australian vernacular: The Nursery Rhyme: "To market, to market, to ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Use of “them” as an article, not a pronoun

I've seen a lot of times the pronoun them used like an article. For example, in the title of the Delta Rhythm Boys Them bones, or in the first sentence of "Money for nothing": Now look at them ...
7
votes
2answers
603 views

Definite or indefinite article in “the/a devil's advocate”

I can't quite figure out which of the following expressions is more correct: He is the devil's advocate. He is a devil's advocate. He is playing devil's advocate. The combination of an article ...
5
votes
4answers
398 views

“In the nick of time” or “in a nick of time?”

They both sound right and I've found examples of both.
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Definite article — “on television” vs. “on the radio”

Why are these different? We heard the news on the radio. We watched the news on television. In this book, the author says we must use television without the. Why? It makes me crazy. Is ...
2
votes
3answers
761 views

Is “if winning isn't everything then why do they keep score” a correct sentence?

We wanted to use this as a T-shirt quote, but I feel that "if winning isn't everything then why do they keep score" is wrong. The correct sentence should be "if winning isn't everything then why do ...