1) "I felt obliged to help" vs. "I felt obligated to help".
I have always used the first. But I frequently hear obligated, which sounds terrible, and wonder if it's a correct alternative form?
2) Inflection vs. intonation: I've always been taught that intonation is the way your voice goes up and down when speaking- and I know this is correct. I've also been taught that inflection of a verb is putting it in all its forms (I eat, you eat, etc). But I was watching Will and Grace the other day, (and we all know that sitocms are such a reliable source of accurate information)- and a character said "I can tell you're trying to be funny from you're inflection". I've also had several friends use the word inflection in this context- can this be correct?
3) "Often times"- I recently saw this for the first time in a book written by an American guy- what exactly does it mean, why can't the word 'often' on its own suffice, and do English speakers from other countries use this expression?
Thank you- sorry if my questions are entirely obnoxious- I'm in the middle of exams, and my brain is just about past its use-by-date! :)