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I listen to a lot of NPR. Unless the correspondent is doing a "man in the street"-type interview, the subjects generally appear intelligent, educated and literate. At least they used to. I've heard several malapropisms in recent weeks, some of which are so common that I figure it's time I spoke up.  Continue reading...
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When my 12-year-old nephew, Caleb, asked what I was going to write about for the next installment of Red Pen Diaries, I said: "The em dash." He confessed that he didn't know what that was. "Neither do most adults," I explained.  Continue reading...
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And now from our friends at Editorial Emergency, a brief rant against abbreviated jargon, from "fail" to "convo": "If you feel like an idiot saying something out loud, don't say it in writing either."  Continue reading...
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I've got a problem with solutions. Well, it's not solutions, per se, but the word "solutions." Actually, it's not even the word "solutions"; it's the notion that all you have to do is throw that word onto your home page and the world will beat a path to your door.  Continue reading...
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It really bugs me when I hear someone use the word "individual" when all they mean is "person." It happens a lot with law-enforcement spokespeople. They also tend to say "vehicle" when they could say "car" or "truck."  Continue reading...
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Want to avoid using words that "sound somewhat like the ones intended but are ludicrously wrong in the context"? Let our Editorial Emergency team, Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner, help you to avoid coming off like the reincarnation of Mrs. Malaprop!  Continue reading...
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Admit it — you're afraid of semicolons.

Lots of folks, even professional writers, will cop to this phobia. No fear? Prove it (or engage in a little immersion therapy) by reviewing the following pairs of independent clauses and identifying the ones that would be better served by a semicolon than the period you see there now.  Continue reading...
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 30 Articles