Blonde or blond? They’re, there or their?


Words. Writers use them, and so need to know a lot about them. But some writers have difficulty with some word choices. Here are a couple that can be problems.

Blond or blonde?

Neither is a good old Anglo-Saxon word. They come from the French language, and the thing to remember about French is that in French, words have sex. (You may now have a moment in which to picture French words having sex.)

Blond is the masculine form. When the word is used as an adjective (describing word) it will be describing a male person or a group of males. It should also be used for mixed sex groups: “the blond Swedish children eat kimchee on their pizza.”

Blonde is the feminine form. “The blonde serial killer needed to go to the grocery store for milk and to the gun store for more ammo.” Use ‘blonde’ to describe women, girls or groups of them.

Sometimes the words are used as nouns. “The blonde is studying calculus, Latin and philosophy.” “The third blond to the left was the one Mark picked as a dance partner.”

There is a stupid custom in modern times about telling jokes about blondes being stupid. Since blond hair color is restricted to certain ethnicities (unless a dye bottle is involved) this is a racist custom. It’s like saying people with very dark skin are stupid. Not very civilized.

Some educated writers don’t think this distinction belongs in English and they use ‘blond’ universally. Though they avoid using ‘blond’ as a noun to avoid confusion.

They’re, there or their?

This is something very commonly taught in grade school. At least it was when I was in school. Maybe these days they are too busy indoctrinating the kiddies that Republicans are ‘racist’ to get to the basics.

‘They’re’ is a contraction of ‘they are.’ So the best way to check the correction of your usage is to replace ‘they’re’ with ‘they are’ and see if your sentence still makes sense.

‘There’ is about a place— a place that is not here. ‘We went there because they have great crullers.’ Sometimes the place is more abstract. ‘There you are wrong, my friend.’ ‘There’ has a few other uses— check your dictionary.

‘Their’ is about the pronoun ‘they.’ It means there is something that belongs to ‘them’ in the sentence. “Their house is full of eels.”


Some blog posts I’m reading:

By the Book: Summer Reading Lists    This is a list of great books that high school kids might be asked to read over the summer. They sound like the would be worth reading by older people as well. Especially “Strangers on a Train”, I didn’t even know that was a BOOK!

Biblical Evidence for Catholicism: Atheist Deconversion Story Series #2: Lorna     This blog is written by my friend Dave Armstrong, a former Protestant who is now a Catholic Apologist. He’s written a number of books and often debates online people with different world-views. In this particular post he examines an atheist woman’s deconversion story— how she journeyed from a ‘fundamentalist’ Christian childhood to her current atheist position. He treats Lorna’s story with kindness and respect, but points out the reasons why he thinks her story is not proof that we should all take up an atheist position.

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