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In the crusade against flabby writing, we're often counseled to get rid of redundancies with a machete. We are to show no mercy for the likes of repeated ideas and words. But following this "rule" blindly, as with following any rule blindly, can result in text that fails to get its meaning across. There are times when redundancy is a boon to the text rather than a scourge.  Continue reading...
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We're all familiar with those words that modify nouns. Words like big, yellow, northern, and government. They're called adjectives, and their job is to modify the nouns they're next to.

Government?  Continue reading...
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I was recently taken to task for writing the following in a blog post:

That's one thing with pet peeves: they're our pets. We're enamored with them.

Do you see the problem?  Continue reading...
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Do you know the grammatical mnemonic "FANBOYS"? It's an acronym for the coordinating conjunctions for, and, nor, but, or, and yet. Seems pretty handy, right? Not so much: Erin Brenner argues that "FANBOYS" hides more than it reveals.  Continue reading...
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Last month, The AP Stylebook, the style guide for many American newspapers, finally gave up on restricting hopefully to its original meaning, "in a hopeful manner." The stylebook now also allows hopefully to be as a sentence adverb meaning "it is hoped" or "it is to be hoped that."  Continue reading...
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When I was struggling with a cold that left me empty of writing ideas, I asked the Twitterverse for help. One follower suggested that I stick with my cold and look into the phrase "God bless you." It proved to be a more daunting task than I anticipated, even once my head cleared.  Continue reading...
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The word bludgeon is perfect for writers looking for a synonym for club that isn't overused. It can be a noun or a verb. As a noun it means "a heavy, short club that is thicker at one end or is weighted at one end." Think of the clichéd caveman's club, and you've got the right idea.  Continue reading...
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2 3 4 5 6 Displaying 22-28 of 49 Articles