There’s something permanent!

On Monday, two unrelated things that happened in the morning encouraged me to write this post (although of course, it’s in arrears like so many other things).

And it has to start with a contraction. (No, not a labor contraction.)

As I was walking from the mail room with calculus packets to start my 08:00 calculus class, thinking of the word “there’s” was going through my head.

Specifically, the saying “There’s two ways to do this problem” was running for some reason.

That statement is completely non-grammatical, because “there’s” is a contraction for “there is.” Saying “There is two ways…” violates the rules of number agreement!

Yet, it seems that many people use “there’s” when they mean “there’re.” Perhaps the latter just doesn’t roll off the tongue!

Then, in my calculus class, the topic was related rates. Rates means that there are units in denominators, which are often stated in English with the word “per.”

One of the problems had units of feet per minute.

But, when one of my students expressed the units correctly, I misheard it as “feet permanent.” Though I knew what it actually was, sometimes your ear goes bonkers!

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Minneapolis: 2 days

Thanksgiving: 15 days

Lincoln: 45 days

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