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A Florida correspondent writes: "My boss is obsessed with Strunk & White, and so tells me that I can never start a sentence with 'however' when using it to mean 'nevertheless.' I disagree with him and say that I can start a sentence with 'however' when I mean 'nevertheless' if I put a comma after the 'however.'"  Continue reading...
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The American Heart Association says that heart attacks kill about 1,200 people in the United States every day. In many of those people's obituaries or death notices, the cause of death will be given as "an apparent heart attack." Except, as many a journalism professor has noted, "apparent heart attacks" can't kill; only real heart attacks can kill.  Continue reading...
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Last week we dealt with some possessive questions when there were plural possessors. Now we'll deal with other possessives, which are more complex than they appear, and plural possessives.  Continue reading...
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Two of the longest sections in most grammar and style guides concern how to form plurals and how to form possessives. Some guidelines are identical—almost no plurals are formed with apostrophes, no matter how many "All Drink's Half Price" signs you see—and some disagree: Is the possessive form of "Texas" rendered as "Texas'" or "Texas's"?  Continue reading...
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"You must be a ringer," the journalism instructor told the student, who insisted that, though he had many years of experience in other jobs, he had never been a journalist. "I admit I had to look that term up," the student said later." I wasn't sure if it calling me a ringer was a compliment or an insult."  Continue reading...
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People who write are "writers," though many call themselves "authors," especially if their products are books, or legislation. More and more, they say that they "authored" what they wrote.  Continue reading...
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Journalists writing about performers and athletes often use the word "journeyman." But Merrill Perlman, who writes the "Language Corner" column for Columbia Journalism Review, has a word of warning: "While it's OK to call an experienced person a 'journeyman,' beware: The word can imply 'undistinguished,' or worse."  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 58 Articles