October 2, 2014

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Spelling Rules

1. TIPS "Sound out" a word by breaking it into phonetic patterns and syllables (Pronunciation) Study Homonyms (words that have similar pronunciations but different meanings & spellings) eg., through and threw; cite,sight, site 2. … [Read more...]

Top Ten Commonly Confused Words

When writers set out to produce work, they are -- in some sense -- entering a minefield. Each word, phrase and piece of punctuation offers the opportunity for misstep. And while writing errors won't kill you, the real possibility exists that they … [Read more...]

Commonly Confused Words

wait

Word Choice Week 1: affect: (verb) means to influence. The flood will affect the harvest. effect: (almost always a noun) means "result." The effect of the flood was frightening. effect: (as a verb) means to cause. He will effect many changes … [Read more...]

Commonly Misspelled Words

Week #1 1. innocuous 2. shriek 3. yield 4. disappear 5. seizure 6. conceited 7. revise 8. accidental 9. caffeine 10. exercise 11. reign 12. weird 13. equipped 14. suddenness 15. misstate 16. worshiper 17. referred 18. … [Read more...]

Untangling “which” and “that”

wordshoice

One of the things I learned in my 10 years of teaching grammar to undergraduates is that "it" is torture. For anyone paying attention that "it" is a lovely little nightmare known as an unclear pronoun reference. Am I saying that teaching grammar … [Read more...]

Small Things that Matter #4: Hyphen Hassles

hyphen

Perhaps no piece of punctuation gives us more trouble than the hyphen, in particular when we are trying to decide whether to hyphenate a compound modifier. In that realm, the average writer is as consistent as the stock market these days. So, … [Read more...]

Small Things that Matter #3: Infinitives

Most of us who learned grammar in the old days — in other words in the days when public schools actually taught grammar — were regularly treated to admonitions NOT to split infinitives. But that was long ago, and let’s be honest, these days, only … [Read more...]

Small Things that Matter #2: Redundancy

I am a big fan of Ace of Cakes, the pseudo-reality drama on the Food Network. The folks who make up Charm City Cakes are my kind of creative geniuses. Each episode, the quirky band of decorators is faced with the cake world’s version of a story to … [Read more...]

Top Ten Most Commonly Confused Words

When writers set out to produce work, they are — in some sense — entering a minefield. Each word, phrase and piece of punctuation offers the opportunity for misstep. And while writing errors won’t kill you, the real possibility exists that they will … [Read more...]