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I asked fellow editors recently what usage rule they wanted to know more about or what rule they saw broken regularly. I received lots answers (thanks, all!), including this one: "Why is worth preceded with a possessive noun or pronoun, as in two days' worth?"  Continue reading...
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Pop quiz time, readers! Which of the following sentences is correct?

The reason why they got married is they love each other.
The reason that they got married is they love each other.
The reason they got married is they love each other.
The reason why they got married is because they love each other.  Continue reading...

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In English, modifiers go next to the thing they modify. Dangling and misplaced modifiers are challenging because they can be difficult to spot. Often the meaning is clear enough that readers pass right over them. That doesn't mean, of course, that we shouldn't fix them.  Continue reading...
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Recently, I came across a version of this sentence in a client document: "ABC Corp. hired XYZ Co. exclusively for testing multiple simulations in order to find the best solution." Did ABC Corp. hire just XYZ Co. or did it hire XYZ Co. just for testing? Although the sentence is grammatical, the meaning is ambiguous absent further context.  Continue reading...
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Decimate. Literally. Hopefully. These words, and others like them, provoke so much ire in some readers that they become troublesome to use. Critics feel that the writer is using the word in an unauthorized way, that it's being using to mean what it does not mean.  Continue reading...
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Last summer I wrote a lot about zombie rules, usage rules that really aren't rules but that we teach, follow, and pass along with little thought anyway. I have two more zombies to share with you, about using the verbs curate and reveal.  Continue reading...
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Recently Lynne Truss, professional pedant, declared in her Telegraph column that English is "doomed."

Her proof? Someone wrote "It maybe time to act on this" in an email to her.  Continue reading...
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