Getting into the spirit

2011-12-20 by . 0 comments

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… the Holiday spirit, that is. Here’s a selection of Christmas and other end-of-year holiday questions that you may find interesting.

Determining Which Good Sentiment to Wish at Each Holiday – If you have ever wondered why we don’t say “Merry New Year”, or why “Happy Christmas” is perfectly fine in Britain but exceedingly odd in America, you’re not alone. If you know some of the history behind these set phrases, here’s your opportunity to post a good answer.

How many articles should go in “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”? and How should Merry Christmas and Happy New Year be capitalized? – These questions might come in handy if you haven’t written your Christmas cards yet.

What preposition should I use before “Christmas”? – Yes, this is Yet Another Question About Prepositions, but like many other commonplace expressions, Christmas does have its idiosyncrasies, so the answers might be worth a read if English isn’t your native language, or if you’re puzzled by the usage on the opposite side of the pond. Another similar question is Prepositions for “Wednesday night” and “the night of Christmas Eve.”

What method of counting puts Twelfth Night on January 6? – OK, full disclosure, this is my question, but I still think it’s a good one. And my traditional year-end gripe bears repeating, too: however you count them, the twelve days of Christmas come after Christmas. If you’re taking down your decorations on the 26th, you’re doing it wrong.

And finally, why do some words have “X” as a substitute? – This is worth reading just for the comment by mgkrebbs, which (in my opinion) quite effectively debunks the notion that writing “Xmas” is a nefarious new plot to remove Christ from Christmas.

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