there is evident a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence

Within us, the people of the United States, there is evident a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence. This sentence is from “Jimmy Carter inaugural address: Jan. 20, 1977” shown here. What does the there-clause mean, and how common is this type of construction? Answer This type of construction is not common in normal colloquial … Read more

Quote from a book published in 1899- Incorrect grammar or change in language over time?

I have the following quote from The Theory of the Leisure Class, published in 1899: The close-cropped lawn is beautiful in the eyes of a people whose inherited bent it is to readily find pleasure in contemplating a well-preserved pasture or grazing land. Shouldn’t the it not be present in the expression above? My grammar … Read more

“It’s cold today” — what term do linguists use to call “it” when it’s used as the subject of a sentence, but has no real antecedent?

Could you please remind me what term linguists and the grammar people use to call it when it’s used as a subject pronoun, but the funky thing is that it doesn’t really refer back to anything in particular like he, she or we usually do which do refer back to a person or an animal … Read more

Do masked expletives take the same special characters or different?

I often read sentences with masked expletives (is this term correct?) just to avoid offensive words being expressed with their full spellings. Though just one letter would convey the word. My question is, when we use these masked expletives, are they always with the same characters (**) or take different (@#$%). Also, is there any … Read more

Is ‘it’ a pronoun or expletive in this sentence?

“Well, Ted,” said the weatherman, “I don’t know about that, but it’s not only the owls that have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead of the rain I promised yesterday, they’ve had a downpour of shooting stars! Perhaps people … Read more