Grammar

  1. Ode To The Schwa

    How do I love thee? Let me count the schwas. Not exactly what Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote in Sonnet 43 . . . but we like it all the same. Why? Because it finally pays tribute to the most frequent vowel sound in English: the schwa. What is the schwa and how does it sound? Simply put, the schwa is a reduced vowel sound written as …

  2. The Irritating History of ALL CAPS

    What’s up with ALL CAPS? You’re reading an email from a friend one morning, casually sipping a cup of joe, when all of a sudden, BAM. There it is. “I’ve been working WAY TOO MUCH lately, but I’m hanging in there. Dinner Friday?” Wait a minute is that— *Gasp* IT IS. AGH! ALL CAPS! Is that how you’d react in IRL? Probably not, but for …

  3. Double Trouble With Double Negatives 

    What’s a double negative? A double negative is when two negative words or constructions are used within a single clause. Sentences with double negatives are not grammatically correct . . . and they’re confusing. That’s because double negatives cancel each other out and make a positive. So, when you use a double negative it ends up being the exact opposite of what you mean. You’ll …

  4. Getty

    Dictionary.com’s Top 10 Grammar Tips

  5. getty

    Did You Just Interrupt . . . My Sentence?

    What’s an interrupter? Interrupters—like this little guy right here—are squeezing into more and more contemporary writing. They’re often the goofy/sarcastic “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” asides writers play with in nonacademic writing and online content. Also called insertions, interrupting phrases, or parenthetical expressions, interrupters are words, phrases, or clauses that break the flow of writing—because if the author feels like it, why not?—to offer additional, can’t-be-held-back, or spur-of-the-moment thoughts …

  6. em dash

    Getting To Know The Em Dash

    What is an em dash? The em dash is an incredibly versatile punctuation mark that can be used instead of parentheses, commas, colons, or quotation marks in a sentence. The em dash (—) sets off a word or clause and adds emphasis. Or, it can signal an interruption (see our article on interrupting sentences for more on that!) or amplification (“expanding”) of an idea. It’s also …

  7. miss mrs ms

    What Are Mr. And Mrs. Short For?

    What are Mr. and Mrs. short for? History and etiquette tell us that Mister and Missus, known by the contractions Mr. and Mrs., are the proper ways to address men and women. Beneath the surface of these everyday honorifics lies a linguistic glitch though. And, it has created social havoc since “Mrs.” entered mainstream English in the 17th century. Where did Mister and Missus come …

  8. what is a conjunction

    Making Connections With Conjunctions

    What is a conjunction? A conjunction is a connecting word used to join words, phrases, sentences, and clauses. Conjunctions are often single words (and, but, because). In some cases, they can also be phrases (in any case). The two main types of conjunctions are subordinating and coordinating. There are also correlative conjunctions. What is a subordinating conjunction? A subordinating conjunction connects a dependent clause to an independent …

  9. What’s The Deal With Piqued, Peeked, And Peaked?

    When do you use piqued? The word set we’re examining today can send writers into a spiral of uncertainty when it comes to word choice, particularly in the context of one expression: piqued my interest, peaked my interest, or peeked my interest? The answer is piqued—and here’s why. Pique means “to excite (interest, curiosity, etc.),” as in “The suspenseful movie trailer piqued my curiosity.” The term also …

  10. What’s The Difference Between “i.e.” And “e.g.”?

    What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.? They may be small, but their power to befuddle writers and speakers of the English language is mighty. The term i.e. is a shortening of the Latin expression id est, which translates to “that is.” It is used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has already been stated. The term e.g. is an abbreviation of …

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