July 04, 2012 5:14 AM EDT
Dear Mr ElsterIn your program, "Verbal advantage", you point to a common mistake by most people and that is "verbal means spoken". According to you, "Verbal means expressed in words whether in written or spoken English.The Oxford Advance learner's dictionary says the following:spoken, not written a verbal agreement/warning, verbal instructions.
July 04, 2012 12:51 PM EDT
Saj -- Dictionaries record language as it is used, not as it ought to be used, and unfortunately many people have taken to using "verbal" to mean "oral," spoken, expressed in speech rather than writing, so that we now see tone-deaf sentences like "The candidate must have excellent verbal and written skills." But careful users of the language know that "verbal," from the Latin "verbum," word, means expressed in words, whether written or spoken. That's why the program is called Verbal Advantage -- because it's supposed to improve your ability to express yourself with words, not just your speaking ability.
August 19, 2012 12:27 AM EDT
Semantic shift is annoying! LOL. I seem to have parked diagonally in a parallel universe somewhere between Chaucer and Urban dictionary!Speaking of which, can I bounce a quick one off ya? Is "polymathical" a word? As in "Send polymathical people to Mars."
Manuel, grateful reader and listener.
August 20, 2012 9:23 AM EDT
The attested form is "polymathic," pertaining to a polymath, a very learned person, an expert in many subjects, or pertaining to polymathy (puh-LIM-uh-thee), great learning. The adjective appears in that dictionary in the picture of me to the left (Webster 2, 1934) and in the OED, where the earliest citation is from Noah Webster's famous dictionary of 1828.
June 26, 2013 9:07 PM EDT
Thanks. English isn't my daily or native language. That helps a lot.