Grammar

  1. Is Veterans Day A Big Grammar Mistake?

    What do apostrophes have to do with this federal holiday? Well, there’s a confusing apostrophe in Veterans’ Day—or is there? Veterans Day is often incorrectly written as “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day.” But, in fact, it’s apostrophe free. “Veteran’s Day” would definitely be incorrect because it means a day for only one veteran. While “Veterans’ Day” does encompass multiple veterans, that spelling is incorrect according …

  2. Can You Use All 8 Types Of Pronouns?

    We talk a lot about pronouns today, especially she/hers, he/him, and of course the age-old palaver over the singular they. But, if you’re really going to dig into your pronouns, shouldn’t you know all the types that are out there? We’re here to help. Certain types of pronouns closely relate to one another, and many words can function as multiple different types of pronouns, depending …

  3. When To Use A vs. An

    There are all sorts of grammar rules out there. But, one of the most basic is determining when you should use the very first letter of the alphabet. Do you know when to use a vs. when you should use an? Let’s break this one down! A vs. an The rule is: Use an before a word beginning with a vowel sound (not letter). It doesn’t matter how the …

  4. Which Words Should You Capitalize In A Title?

    Titles can be confusing—either due to length (we’re looking at you, Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet), punctuation (Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood), or content (sigh, 2002’s Mr. Mom). But, titles can also stump readers and writers across the board due to title case—conventions of which words in a sentence start with capital letters. Have no fear: We’ll walk you through the steps, one …

  5. 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, neutral vowel sound written as an …

  6. 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 …

  7. Don’t Get Into 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. …

  8. getty

    What Is An “Interrupter”?

    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 …

  9. em dash

    How To Use 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 …

  10. 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 …

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