Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Such Thing as an Alternate Universe

Dear Google.

Actually, Dear pretty much everyone in the English speaking world. Especially Google though.

The words "alternate" and "alternative" have different meanings and usages. One is not interchangeable with the other. "Alternate" is not an alternative for "alternative". You cannot alternate between the two at will.

"Alternate" is primarily a verb. It means to go back and forth from one thing to another.

"Alternate" is also an adjective, but can only be used with nouns in the plural. It means "every other".

"Alternate" does not mean an additional option. You cannot have an "alternate universe" or an "alternate calendar" any more than you can raise a pigs, or french dig good carburettor any at those extraordinariness rebound buffer-links breathmint flubleglasticatude. The word you're looking for is "alternative". Please use this in future.

Thank you. You do not need to reply directly.

No comments:

Post a Comment