Yearly Archives: 2016

  1. Learn to Expertly Talk About Split Infinitives

    Sometimes infinitives need a little space. A split infinitive occurs when there’s an adverb between two parts of an infinitive. An infinitive consists of the word to and the simple form of a verb (e.g. to go and to read). “To suddenly go” and “to quickly read” are examples of split infinitives because the adverbs (suddenly and quickly) split (or break up) the infinitives to …

  2. Whomever vs. Whoever

    Raise your hand if you’ve had the who vs. whom argument. Isn’t it time to put that struggle to rest? Whoever is a pronoun that describes someone who performs an action, while whomever is a pronoun that describes someone who receives an action. Both whoever and whomever are interrogative pronouns that deal with people. Whoever Whoever is a subjective pronoun: It describes an unknown person …

  3. Word of the Day Quiz: Jan 22-28

    Gather up a talisman …and get ready for this week’s Word of the Day quiz.‎ We’re ready for a shivoo if you are!

  4. Wednesday Winner: Sockeroo

    Today’s Word of the Day is sockeroo, which means “a notable success.” Adodo O. from Lagos, Nigeria chose today’s word saying, “I love this word!” Submit your favorite word here and it could be chosen as one of our Word of the Day selections!

  5. Here’s When to Capitalize Words

    There are a few specific cases where words should be capitalized. They’re easy to remember. In English, capital letters are most commonly used at the start of a sentence, for the pronoun I, and for proper nouns. The First Word of a Sentence You should always capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence, no matter what the word is. Take, for …

  6. Stop and Think About Run-On Sentences

    A run-on sentence is a sentence where two or more independent clauses have been incorrectly joined together. An independent clause contains both a subject and a verb and can stand on its own as a complete sentence. Some examples of independent clauses include “Jane ate dinner,” “John went to the store,” and “Sue made a pie.” Comma Splices A comma splice is a grammatical error …

  7. Quiz Yourself: Pardon Our French

    Salut les mots Français! Comment ça va? The English language borrows a lot of words from the French. It has ever since the two languages first came into contact in 1066. Some familiar words, like beef, have changed so much you might not realize where they came from. Others, like rendezvous, just feel French. Sometimes, when we borrow French words they come with certain quirks. …

  8. Inter- vs Intra-

    What’s the difference between the interstate highway and the intrastate highway? Inter- is a prefix that means between two groups, and intra- is a prefix which means within or inside one group. Inter- and intra- are both prefixes, which are groups of letters that are placed at the beginning of a word in order to change its meaning. Inter- Inter- is a common prefix that …

  9. Does Boxing Day Have Anything to Do with Boxing?

    In the US, the word boxing usually refers to two athletes stepping into a padded ring, each with the intention of knocking the other off their feet. The holiday known as Boxing Day is generally obscure in the States. But in Britain, the celebration is ubiquitous—and doesn’t usually involve a boxing ring. Let’s spend a minute with the origin of the box in the pugilistic sense of …

  10. Be a Grammar Expert: Master the Semicolon

    It’s one of the hottest things grammar nerds argue about: Just when are you supposed to use semicolons? Semicolons can join two or more independent sentences or divide items that are separated by commas in a list. A semicolon indicates a slight break in the flow of thought. Joining Independent Sentences A semicolon links two or more independent clauses that are closely related. An independent …