Thanks to everyone who sent in Good Question suggestions this week! Please keep them coming! In the meantime, I wanted to answer a few that didn’t make air.
1) Rosy has a question I’ve never thought about before: Why do people put an “s” on the end of email, as in emails? We don’t say we are going to pick up our snail mails from the post office.
Good point, Rosy. I looked up the definition of email in the dictionary and found three definitions – two for nouns and one for a verb. The first noun definition is for the entire system as a whole (like mail), and the second definition is for an individual message (like a letter).
So, people can add the “s” if they’re using the second definition. They can also use this term as a verb, as in, “I’m going to email Santa Claus with my Christmas list.”
2) Steve from Backus asked: What makes a river a river, a creek a creek, a stream a stream or a brook a brook?
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a stream is a general term for a flowing body of water, so it would encompass rivers, brooks and creeks. Then, I went to the great state of Maine to help break it down further. A river is a large freshwater surface stream, a brook is a small stream and a creek lies somewhere in the middle.
3) Dawn wants to know: How does the highway department determine where “Deer Crossing” signs are put?
MnDOT tells me they actually stopped putting up “Deer Crossing” signs back in 2005 because they found it’s not effective in reducing deer-vehicle crashes. So at this point, it’s MnDOT’S policy to no longer install those signs and take down existing signs as they reach the end of their useful lives. Here’s a link to the MnDOT fact sheet on signs for further information.
4) And Craig asked me a question on a topic of which I know nothing about: men’s fashion. What’s the difference between a sport jacket, blazer and sport coat?
For this question, I completely defer to the experts at Modern Men Daily. The suit jacket is the most formal, lighter and paired with pants. The sport coat is bought on its own and is usually heavier. And the blazer is what I picture when I think of East Coast prep schools.