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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fowler's Modern English Usage

One of the books that make an tremendous impression on me was H.W.F. Fowler's Modern English Usage.
The "modernity" of his book was just around World War I, but it was a breath of fresh air to me.

Below is a Fowler cartoon, based on the correct usage of "can" and "may".
I shall wing this from memory, and I am sorry if I am mistaken, but I believe the correct usage of the verb "can" is in expressing the ability to do something; e.g., I can go to the movies by driving my car there.

"May" is used to express allowance, permission, or a possibility; e.g., May I go to the movies, if I clean up the bathroom?


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