4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 51 Articles

In a recent Slate article about the em dash, Noreen Malone demonstrates what overuse of the punctuation looks like. Her article is so overloaded with em dashes that the reader is left dizzy and confused. A paragraph would have done the trick in my mind, but the article certainly makes its point.  Continue reading...
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The following is the second part of Erin Brenner's response to the recent piece by Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner, "'Whose' an Animate Object?" In the first part, Erin considered the use of that to refer to people, and here she examines whether whose should be used for inanimate objects.  Continue reading...
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In a recent article on the Visual Thesaurus, Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner state that when referring to a person, the writer should always use who and never that. Often I agree with what Glickman and Rubiner say, but not this time.  Continue reading...

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Participle.

It's one of those words your English teacher used once or twice but that didn't really stick with you. Yet improper use of a participle can cause your sentence to blur before your readers' eyes. In this Grammar Bite, we'll define participles and look at how things can go awry with them. Conquer the dangling participle, and your writing will smarten up right away.  Continue reading...
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How do you feel about the phrase due to? Does it just mean "attributable to" to you, or can it also mean "because of"? Your answer may help explain where you fall along the prescriptivism-descriptivism usage continuum.  Continue reading...
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Subject-verb agreement sounds easy, doesn’t it? A singular subject takes singular verb, and a plural subject takes a plural verb. Yet The Copyeditor's Handbook lists no fewer than 25 cases that aren't so clear-cut, and Garner's Modern American Usage devotes nearly 5 columns to the topic. Even the comparatively diminutive Grammar Smart devotes five pages (including quizzes) to the topic. What makes subject-verb agreement so hard?  Continue reading...

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Recently, someone asked me about joining two independent clauses to make a compound sentence. She thought such a sentence would need a comma, but she often found them missing. Today, we'll review how to join independent clauses.  Continue reading...
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4 5 6 7 8 Displaying 36-42 of 51 Articles