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Write Justified

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In anticipation of the upcoming presidential election cycle, prepare to hear some unsavory comments, even name-calling among candidates. Here’s a term you …

July 22, 2017

As languages go, English is fairly young. It’s been about 1400 years since the Anglo-Saxons imported English into Great Britain. And the …

June 27, 2017

A number of grammatical faux pas can be attributed to faulty hearing. I’m not implying that any of you are going deaf, …

May 27, 2017

  This may seem hard to believe, but … not every question requires a question mark Click To Tweet How often don’t …

April 27, 2017

  Because spellcheck, wonderful as it may be, doesn’t catch words used improperly … And because the English language has more than …

March 27, 2017

  Bryan Garner, author of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, and a raft of other books on English language usage and …

March 27, 2017

  You’ve written your masterpiece. Or at least a short story, novel, or essay you believe worthy of publication. But is it? …

March 26, 2017

  The comma is one of those punctuation marks that has an outsized impact in relationship to its size. It’s the little …

January 27, 2017

Plenty of ink has been spilled and battles fought over the necessity and superiority of the Oxford or serial comma. After …

December 26, 2016

Third Person In my last post, I explained that Point of View is one of the choices writers have when they …

November 29, 2016

Twice in the last year, my husband and I have made the trip from Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado. Once by …

October 28, 2016

  As if English with its homophones and irregular verbs weren’t confusing enough, how about those idioms? Oh sure, you and I …

September 27, 2016

As an editor, I frequently encounter homonym errors. Someone writes whether when they intend weather. Or peek when the context calls for …

June 11, 2016

When editors are asked to name their pet peeves, misuse of apostrophes ranks at or near the top of their list. The …

May 17, 2016

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of plurals (see 2 + 2 Doesn’t Always = 4), let’s look at some more exceptions …

April 26, 2016

Students of English learn quickly that to every rule, there is an exception; sometimes the exception is the rule. That appears to …

March 18, 2016

One of the occupational hazards of the writing-editing life is back and/or neck pain as a result of poor posture. We’re often …

February 27, 2016

Every writer needs an editor or at least a proofreader. Even experienced writers benefit from another pair of eyes reviewing what they …

February 12, 2016

A few days before the deadline for this blog I had some time to begin thinking about the next year and the …

January 12, 2016

Let’s categorize these three figures of speech as “substitutions.” We’re going to explore three devices that make a point indirectly, but …

November 27, 2015

To paraphrase that wise king Solomon, “There’s a time and place for everything.” For writers, that includes repetition, despite the oft-heard advice …

October 24, 2015

Last month I introduced the concept of rhetorical devices. We started with a couple familiar devices that students of English would know …

September 10, 2015

Rhetorical questions don’t require (or deserve) an answer. Do they? But how about those rhetorical devices—those figures of speech that bring our …

August 29, 2015

Thanks to computer technology you no longer need to be a great speller to be a writer. If you want to be …

July 30, 2015
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