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  • Hi I'm John Green. Welcome to my salon. This is menopause, is what many of

  • you think I'm saying when I say, "This is mental_floss."

  • That's just one of many questions of grammar, spelling and usage that we will

  • be exploring and correcting today.

  • Let's just start out one that no matter how many times I hear, I always

  • struggle with, even though, I know I'm a novelist. 1. Lay vs. Lie.

  • Lay is transitive; it needs a direct subject and one or more

  • objects, and the past tense of "lay" is laid, which slang makes confusing

  • because it is also something that you can "get." (Get laid)

  • So you lay down your copy of the brilliant and heartwarming novel "The

  • Fault in Our Stars"

  • If it happened in the past, you laid down your copy of "The Fault in Our Stars."

  • "Lie" does not require an object, and the past tense of "lie" is, of course,

  • "lay." So if you need to get out of gym class, and if you're like me, you do, then

  • you need to go to the nurse's office and "lie" down,

  • whereas Clark Kent "lay" down when he find that he could not save Toad from

  • the gigantic bear...

  • skeleton. 2. Literally means something that 100%, for sure,

  • no doubt, is true. For example, you did not

  • "literally" die when you fell down the stairs, because you are telling me the

  • story of your literal dying. 3. This is a bad sentence: I wish One Direction would

  • come to Indianapolis; I think Niall Horan would like it here.

  • If your sentence contains two independent thoughts, you have a

  • run-on sentence. You put a comma in the middle, that just gives you a comma splice.

  • Try using a semi-colon, or even better, a period. 4. There's this band I like called

  • the Avett[ay-vit] Brothers (possibly the Avett[ah-vit] Brothers) and they have this song I like

  • in which they sing, "I want to have friends that I can trust, who love me for

  • the man I've become, not the man

  • 'that' I was," but it should be "who," it should be 3 "who"s - I wanna have

  • friends who I can trust,

  • who love me for the man who I've become. "That" is for non-people;

  • "who" is for people, and when you call a "who" a "that," you are dehumanizing the "who"

  • And don't dehumanize The Who (band); they already have enough problems just with

  • old age. 5. Your delicious new chili red mini cooper is not "for sell"

  • it is "for sale". 6. Okay "who" and "whom". "Who" and "whom" are both pronouns. "Who" is a subject;

  • "whom" is in object. So "who" is your favorite spice girl? But

  • "whom" do you like among the Spice Girls? Easy trick, if your answer would

  • contain a "he" or a "she,"

  • use "who"; if your answer would contain a "him" or a "her,"

  • use "whom." 7. If you're using a singular noun, use a singular pronoun, and if you're

  • using a plural noun, use a plural pronoun. For example,

  • everyone in our office has "their" friends, but everyone in

  • our office has "his or her" favorite episode of Duck Dynasty. 8. It's Catcher

  • "in" the Rye, but Sex "and" the City. 9. You "nip it

  • in the bud". Never nip anything

  • in the butt! 10. You couldn't care less. Saying you could care less implies that

  • you care at least somewhat, because you could reduce your level of caring.

  • 11. "A lot" is two words, as in "I have a-space-lot of unwatched episodes of The

  • Vampire Diaries on my DVR. 12. "Lose," as in "lose" the game, has one "o";

  • as in "hey Justin Bieber, I haven't seen pants that "loose" since MC Hammer,

  • has 2 "o"s. 13. If you're referring to something you can count, use

  • "fewer". If it's an uncountable quality, like love, use "less".

  • For instance, there is now one fewer matryoshka doll on the Wall of Magic, and

  • it is a little bit less magical. 14. "Could

  • of" is not a thing. Neither is "should of", neither is "would of", you get the

  • picture.

  • "Could've" is a contraction of "could have"; "Should've" is a contraction of

  • "should have." I'll leave it to you to figure out what "woul've" means. 15. Speaking

  • of commonly said things that are not in fact

  • things, "for all intensive purposes" is wrong.

  • It's "for all intents and purposes." 16. Subjects: I, you, he, she

  • it, we, they. Ojects: me, you, him, her it, us, them.

  • So: I, you, he, she, it, we, they

  • ate ice cream. But Henry the VIII married and then decapitated me, you, him, her

  • it, us, them.

  • 17. Here's a quick tip for figuring out whether to use "me" or "I." Take away the other

  • noun in the sentence. For example, "Mark and me"went to Starbucks, or "Mark and

  • I" went to Starbucks? First, you have to remove Mark, I am sorry, Mark.

  • "I" went to Starbucks, makes sense, but "Me" went to Starbucks sounds like Captain

  • Caveman, so you use "I"!

  • 18. "Anxious" means you are nervous. It comes from "anxiety." If you're excited for

  • something, you're

  • "eager," not anxious. 19. "Good" is an adjective or a noun. "Well"

  • always an adverb. So you're not "doing good" because you're describing how

  • you're "doing." You're "doing

  • well," which is good. 20. "If" implies a condition, "whether" implies there are two

  • options. So "we don't know whether to watch Full House

  • or Sabrina the Teenage Witch" but watch Full House

  • if it's the episode about Michelle getting amnesia. 21. If it's coming toward

  • the speaker, use "bring". If it's going away from the speaker use

  • "take". So mark is "bringing" me the laser cat. Thank you, Mark, this is so awesome. I

  • am so.. yes!

  • Do itwhy did you "take" it away? 22. "Historic" is something significant that

  • happened in history, but "historical" is just

  • anything that happened in the past. Of course, deciding what's significant is

  • subjective; that's why we have Crash Course History. All right, let's quickly

  • go through some words that sound the same:

  • 23. "You're" means "you are"; "your" is something you possess.

  • 24. "It's" means "it is" or "it has"; "its" is something that

  • it possesses. This is "its" eye. "Its" name is Cellophane, by the way, we can't tell you

  • the story; "it's" too cute.

  • 25. You're going "there", something they own is "theirs" and "they're" all weird. 26. If you're

  • trying to say

  • "who is", contract to "who's". "Whose" indicates ownership or of "whom or which"

  • 27. "Emigrate" with an "e" if you're moving away from your home country; "immigrate"

  • with an

  • "i" if you're moving to a new country. I mean, usually you're doing both at the

  • same timeit's really a matter of which country's paperwork you're filling out.

  • Pro tip: keep all passports. 28. "Two" is the number that comes after "one";

  • "too" is "also," and "to" is the only one you can use as an infinitive or as a

  • preposition, as in "I want to go to Disney World."

  • 29. "Allusion" is the noun form of the verb "to allude".

  • "Illusion" is what Gob does on Arrested Development. 30. A "bear" is what you don't

  • want to encounter on your camping trip; it's also "to carry" or "to tolerate" as in

  • "bear with me" or "to stay in one direction": "bear right." "Bare"

  • means "exposed" or "naked" as in how I feel when singing karaoke.

  • 31. "Elicit" is a verb; "illicit" is an adjective.

  • you can think of it this way: "illicit" drugs will make you ill.

  • 32. "Led" is the past tense of "lead"; "lead" is the kind of paint you shouldn't eat.

  • 33. You write notes on "stationery". Think

  • "e" for envelope and you remain stationary. 34. The Weather Channel is

  • completely unnecessary, because

  • Siri, whereas "whether" I already explained. 35. "Affect" is a verb implying

  • change;

  • "effect" is a noun meaning "the result". Some people think that you can use

  • "effect" as a verb as well, but those people are wrong. 36. Use "than" for

  • comparisons; otherwise, use "then" to mean "next", or

  • "later". Like One Tree Hill is better then the O.C.! Well, we can watch One Tree Hill,

  • then, instead of The O.C.

  • 37. Speaking of my love for early 2000 TV, Mr. Feeney was Cory Matthews' "principal".

  • "Principal" with an "a" can also mean "the highest in importance":

  • the "principal" problem in this office is, for instance, that no one appreciates a

  • good Boy Meets World reference.

  • A "principle" is only a noun, meaning "a law" or "a rule"

  • 38. "Accept" as a verb as in "you have to accept that we are back at the salon, and

  • therefore this video is almost over";

  • "except" is a preposition or conjunction, like "this video is over,

  • except for the credits" Thanks for watching mental_floss, which is brought to you

  • with the help of these nice people; every week we endeavor to answer one

  • of your mind-blowing questions. This week's question comes from user "IHate4Kids"

  • I hope not your 4 kids. "Why is the sky blue?

  • I don't know. Hank? Thanks John. And great question, IHate4Kids...

  • I guess you probably hate kids because they keep asking

  • questions like this that are seemingly obvious but actually ridiculously

  • difficult to answer.

  • The problem here is that we don't have to understand why the sky is blue to

  • understand why the sky is blue; we also have to understand what

  • is blue? Surprisingly this is a difficult question to answer, but if someone asks

  • you what blue is,

  • this is what you should say: the light that we see is a very narrow band of the

  • electromagnetic spectrum,

  • a spectrum of radiation wavelengths that stretches all the way from waves the

  • size of buildings to waves the size of atomic nuciei.

  • Visible light has wavelength roughly the size of single-celled organisms like

  • protozoans,

  • so small but not anywhere near as small as atoms.

  • Our eyes are actually extremely sensitive wavelength detectors in the

  • visible range.

  • We can distinguish between the longer wavelengths of red light, and the shorter wavelengths

  • of blue light. And that is what blue is, an interaction between

  • our eyes, our brains and certain electromagnetic waves. Now, as to what's

  • actually happening in the atmosphere.

  • Radiation can interact with particles in a few different ways, it can bounce off,

  • it can reflect, it can be absorbed and remitted.

  • But if it's interacting with particles that are much smaller than the wavelength of

  • the radiation, like molecules of the oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere,

  • the radiation is not absorbed or reflected, it's scattered.

  • Because nitrogen and oxygen are particularly good at scattering blue light,

  • with shorter wavelengths rather than other colors, blue light is scattered

  • out from the main beam of the sun's light, and all around the atmosphere.

  • Before scattering down to

  • our eyes. The effect? A yellow-tinged blue-less sun, and the beautiful shell

  • of blue light from Horizon

  • to Horizon. Again, thanks for watching mental_floss; remembers to submit your own

  • questions and DFTBA.

Hi I'm John Green. Welcome to my salon. This is menopause, is what many of

Subtitles and vocabulary

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B1 US noun blue light lay radiation wavelength implies

38 Common Spelling and Grammar Errors - mental_floss on YouTube (Ep.9)

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