Difference: SubtleGrammar (12 vs. 13)

Revision 132014-12-24 - JeffreyBarrick

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META TOPICPARENT name="ReferenceList"

Subtle Grammatical Usage Notes

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  • Complimentary / Complementary
    Complimentary means praising or free of charge. Two things are complementary when they combine in a way that enhances each other's qualities or if they are nucleic acid bases that pair with each other. Thus, "complementary base", "complementary skills", "complimentary comments".
  • This Data / These Data
    Use this data when you can replace "data" with "information". Use these data when you can replace "data" with "facts". (source)
  • gram-negative/gram-positive bacteria
    The Gram in Gram staining is a proper noun. It's generally agreed that Gram stain is capitalized, but many sources say that Gram should not be capitalized when describing gram-positive/gram-negative bacteria.
  • Growth media/medium
    The first is plural and the second is singular. Try substituting "solution" or "solutions" into the sentence to see which one sounds right. Use medium when referring to one formulation (e.g., "Cultures were grown in LB medium.") Use media when referring to multiple different formulations. (e.g., "Cultures were grown on media supplemented with either 10 or 25 mg/ml tryptophan.") Also use medium when referring to a certain amount (e.g., "25 ml of M9 minimal *medium*").
  • Principle / Principal
    Principle means the fundamental basis of a fact. A Principal is the main player or the person of most importance in a project. Thus, "proof of principle", "principal investigator", "in principle", "the principle reason", "school principal".
  • Regardless / Irregardless
    Regardless is correct. Irregardless is a commonly heard but incorrect term, probably originating due to similar word pairs like respective / irrespective.
  • Where / Wherein
    Use wherein when you can replace with "in which" or "in what".
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