Prone vs Supine

PRONE: recumbent/lying face-down, fr/Latin pro-nus, leaning forward. Also apt, likely. SUPINE: recumbent/lying on one’s back These words are fun to use. I like to think of lying prone on an inflated raft that has a place to see through…and I’m floating in Hanauma Bay watching beautiful sea creatures. Of course I have sun block. My husband, Jack, used to lie prone all the time when he was working under one of the sinks in our house of that of many others. He loved helping people. My daughter is a massage therapist. She usually has her patients start in a prone position. About halfway through the session, she has them lie in a supine position (except she doesn’t use that word because no one would understand). She just tells them to turn over. When you say “supine,” think “spine.” You lie on your spine when you go to sleep. Usually. That’s called a supine position. These days, people are more prone to say “Lie face up” or “Lie face...

Punctuation at end of sentence

Judy Vorfeld We have a running debate at work. When using quotes at the end of a sentence, is it: He said, “I wish I could go home.” OR He said, “I wish I could go home”. According to Gregg Reference Manual, periods and commas always go inside the closing quotation mark. This is the preferred American style. The Elements of Grammar by Shertzer gives the same...

On and upon

By Judy Vorfeld Which sentence is correct: 1) There is nothing to comment on, or 2) There is nothing to comment upon. According to Gregg Reference Manual, the prepositions “on” and “upon” are interchangeable. Gregg further says that deciding on whether or not to end a sentence with a preposition depends on the emphasis and desired effect. If your statement is informal, then why not end it in a preposition? Strunk and White says, “The proper place in the sentence for the word or group of words that the writer desires to make most prominent is usually the end.” Webgrammar offers the following options in order to avoid conflict: 1. If speaking to a reporter, say, “No comment.” 2. If speaking to a colleague on a debatable issue, say, “I see no reason to comment. It’s not an issue. Let’s do lunch.” 3. If speaking to a spouse, say, “I need time to think about this. Let me get back with you.” Plan on getting back to the subject sometime in the next five years. 4. If speaking to a person who has been rude, say, “I see no reason to comment. Excuse me.” Then turn and walk away. 5. If speaking to an English teacher, say, “I see nothing substantive on which to make a...