Thursday, December 29, 2011

How One Typo Can Ruin Your Job Search


Guest post by Robert McCauley

Job seekers receive no shortage of advice from colleagues, peers, friends, and family. Everyone has some nugget of wisdom to help you land the position. Of all the tips you’re likely to receive, this one may be the most valuable: Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

What does having strong attention to detail have to do with finding a job? Sometimes, everything.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Do You Know the Correct Answer to Our Pop Quiz Question?

In a recent Grammarly Pop Quiz email, we asked readers how they would correct this sentence: I’m looking forward to purchasing tickets for the 2018 winter Olympics.

A: Capitalize the “W” in winter. B: Make “O” in Olympics lowercase. C: Accept the sentence as is.

44 percent of these readers gave the correct answer, A. Did you choose correctly?

Seasons are only capitalized when they’re used as proper nouns, as in the sentence above: The movie will debut in the spring of 2016.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Fulfil vs. Fulfill

  • Fulfil and fulfill are both correct spellings of the same word. It means “to put into effect,” “to achieve,” “to carry out,” or “to realize.”
  • Fulfil is the spelling commonly used in English speaking countries like the UK and Australia.
  • Fulfill is the spelling commonly used in the United States.
  • In Canada, they use both spellings.

Fulfill is one of those words with multiple spellings.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What Does Lmao Mean?

  • Lmao is an abbreviation of the phrase “laughing my ass off.
  • It is used to indicate that something is funny.

Lmao is a phrase that comes into mind when we’re laughing very hard, even though we rarely lose body parts to laughing.

The Meaning of Lmao

Lmao stands for laughing my ass off. Typically people use it in written conversations to show that they think something is funny. You can think of it as a stronger version of lol, which stands for laughing out loud.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Does Lmk Mean?

  • Lmk is an abbreviation of let me know.
  • The abbreviation is used the same way the spelled-out phrase is used, but you should avoid it in formal communication.

When you need people to get back to you with additional information about something, lmk is one of the phrases you can use to ask for it.

The Meaning of Lmk

Lmk is short for let me know. People have been using it for at least fifteen years.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Possessive Case of Nouns: Rules and Examples

The possessive case shows ownership. With the addition of ’s (or sometimes just the apostrophe), a noun can change from a simple person, place, or thing to a person, place, or thing that owns something. There are a few different ways to form the possessive of a noun. We’ll discuss these ways below.

If the noun doesn’t end with an s, add ’s to the end of the noun. See the following examples:

This is Mary and her dog.

Monday, December 19, 2011

10 Best Grammar Resources for English Language Learners

English is already the most common second language (by number of speakers) in the world, and more people begin studying it every day. Fortunately, the availability of learning resources is growing right along with the number of English learners. The publishing industry, web entrepreneurs, respected institutions, and enthusiasts who just want to help are producing a staggering amount of materials aimed at getting people to understand, speak, and write in English.

Friday, December 16, 2011

“Dear Tooth Fairy”: Letter-writing As Magical Persons

By Laura Wallis for The Stir by CafeMom

Few things are as monumental in an elementary-school kid’s life than losing a tooth. It’s a rite of passage, and it usually means an exciting thing is about to happen: the Tooth Fairy is going to pay a visit.

Just tucking the tooth under the pillow is usually enough to get a reward in exchange, but putting it in an envelope or folded up inside a sheet of paper means it’s less likely to get lost—and that presents a great opportunity to make some fun memories.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Purposely vs. Purposefully—Learn How To Use Both Correctly

Purposely and purposefully are two English words that are often confused. Because they both have the same root, purpose, are both adverbs, and are only a shade apart in meaning, it is no wonder that they are used incorrectly with such frequency.

Here’s how to use them.

The Difference between “Purposely” and “Purposefully”

When you use purposely in a sentence, it should be synonymous with intentionally and on purpose.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nine Tips for Writing the Perfectly Professional Sales SMS

By Sophorn Chhay

Just because you have room for 160 characters in your texts doesn’t mean you should use them all.

In fact, texting experts seem to agree that an ideal text should be short and sweet, especially in a business environment, where the name of the game is brevity. Essentially, focus on quality, not quantity.

This can sometimes be a challenge for people who enjoy being verbose.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Is It Omelet or Omelette?

  • Omelet is the spelling used in American English.
  • Omelette is the spelling used in British English.

An omelet (or omelette) is a type of egg dish, often served at breakfast or brunch. Neither spelling is wrong, but there are some guidelines for when to use which.

Omelet is the standard spelling in American English. In fact it appears about twice as often as omelette in American publications.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Secret to Success? Many of Our Favorite Writers Also Worked as Librarians.

April 14 is National Library Workers’ Day. Given the literary nature of library work, it’s not surprising that some of our favorite authors were also librarians. Here’s a short list of writers who put in time between the stacks.

Lewis Carroll Before he began writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (whose real name was Charles Dodgson) worked as a librarian in England.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Five Tools Dyslexic People Can Use To Improve Their Writing

By Nelson Lauver, Author of Most Un-Likely To Succeed

I’m nervous and thinking about turning around and getting back in my car. Just ring the doorbell, I tell myself. I find the courage, and my blind date answers the door with one hand while holding back Lola, an exuberant 80-pound rescued pit bull mix, with the other. I can’t believe my eyes! Jane could be a model. She’s stunning, with a movie-star smile.

The Five Best Holiday Stories to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Not feeling the holiday spirit yet? Hectic days at work and evenings spent shopping may leave you low on holiday cheer, but the feelings of generosity, gratitude, and closeness to your loved ones are what truly make the holidays special. If music, movies, and weather aren’t getting you in the mood of the season, try reading a good book. Sit down with a holiday classic or enjoy a new read to celebrate the holidays, both religious and secular, that come at this time of year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

“What’s Wite-Out?” And Other Products You’ll Have to Explain to Your Kids

By Laura Wallis for The Stir by CafeMom

What’s Wite-Out?

And other things your kids will ask to make you feel old

A friend recently mentioned that her child, upon picking up a landline phone, asked, “Mom, what is that sound?” It was a dial tone. The speed at which technology is advancing means that many once-basic details of everyday life are quickly going the way of the dinosaur.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

7 Books Every Student Should Read Before Entering the Workforce

Unless you’re really lucky, you’ll have some time between taking your last step out of your college and your first step into a new job. You can spend that time trying to have as much fun as you can, basically prolonging the college experience as long as possible. You can spend that time trying to figure things out, yourself included. You can travel, paint, or volunteer. You can do a lot of things, but what you can’t do is escape the fact that, unless you have a trust fund, you’ll have to join the workforce (cue Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine”).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are Pun Competitions a Real Thing?

Around 400 people gathered on Sunday, November 6, at a Kuala Lumpur coffee shop called The Bee. Inside, there was barely enough room to stand, but that didn’t stop people from having fun and enjoying what they’d all come to witness—Malaysia’s very first pun competition. Adequately titled Pun Competition Malaysia, the event was a massive success, and by the end of it, Malaysia had its first winner of “The Punniest Ever” title, a guy called Zim Ahmadi.

Friday, November 25, 2011

How long did you study grammar in school?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What Does Bff Mean?

  • Bff is an initialism of the phrase best friends forever.
  • Bff has evolved into a noun that refers to a close friend.

Being someone’s bff does not mean you’re part of a club with only two members. It does, however, mean that you have a very close friend.

The Meaning of Bff

Bff is an initialism of the phrase best friend(s) forever, and it’s a term of endearment used for selected close friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two-minute Grammar: The Bare-bones Basics of Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives are descriptive words that modify (describe) nouns (persons, places, things, or ideas). They often tell you how many, which, and what kind. For example:

“He baked a delicious, beautiful cake.” (What kind of cake is it? It is delicious and beautiful.) “Nine members of our group signed up for the yoga class.” (How many members signed up? Nine.) “Hand me the broken radio so I can try to fix it.” (Which radio?

Monday, November 21, 2011

How to Write a Catchy Headline in 1 Minute and 7 Seconds

Guest post from Nick Marquet

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If you are a writer, your goal is probably for your work to be consumed by an interested audience who will rave about it to their friends. Yet, if you write the most insightful, thought-provoking, earth-shattering blog post or newspaper article — and no one reads it – it’s not very likely that your writing will resonate with a wide audience.

Friday, November 18, 2011

8 Steps to Stop a Grammar Troll

You write a great article, and someone comments to point out every typo. You express your opinion in a comment, and someone critiques your writing style. These self-appointed grammar overseers are grammar trolls. What do you do when a grammar troll tests your patience? An angry response often makes the situation worse. If you want them to leave you alone, you will need to shut them down once and for all!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses—What’s the Difference?

A restrictive clause modifies the noun that precedes it in an essential way. Restrictive clauses limit or identify such nouns and cannot be removed from a sentence without changing the sentence’s meaning. A nonrestrictive clause, on the other hand, describes a noun in a nonessential way.

The terminology in this area of grammar can be confusing, so let’s get that out of the way. Because restrictive clauses provide key, identifying information, they are often referred to as essential clauses, and nonrestrictive clauses are also called nonessential clauses for the opposite reason.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Got a Problem With Passive Voice? These 7 Sentences Will Help

By Akmal Akbarov

Do you have a problem with the passive voice? Do you know the difference between the passive and active voices?

Well, you don’t have to worry any longer because I have created this article just for you.

If you scroll down, you will see that I have taken one sentence and showed you how to write it in both the active and passive voices.

In the active voice your sentences usually follow this formula:

Monday, November 14, 2011

5 Inspiring Authors to Read During Black History Month

February was officially recognized as Black History Month by the US government in 1976 as part of the US bicentennial, although its beginnings date to the establishment of Negro History Week in 1926. It’s a month to remember important events and people in African-American history. We’ve selected five inspiring authors to read during Black History Month as a remembrance of the great contributions of African-Americans who achieved literary acclaim.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Educating Educators: Basic Grammar for Teachers

Should all educators have to pass basic grammar in order to teach? Several months ago, Grammarly polled, and over 30,000 people cast their votes. The overwhelming majority, 94 percent, answered yes. But what kinds of skills should be tested? Most states require teachers to pass a test of basic skills, but each state has unique licensure requirements. Generally, the states who use tests focus on math, writing, language arts, and reading comprehension.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11 Risks of Not Proofreading Your Application Essay

Guest Post from Leslie Anglesey, Professor at California State University, Sacramento

Writing an application essay is no easy task, but reading it should be. College admission boards consider a number of things when reviewing an application. While most students understand the importance of extra-curricular activities and GPAs, the admission essay often gets overlooked. As a result, admission boards may skip reading the essay altogether or, worse yet, actually read the entire thing and determine you never made it past English 101.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Grammar Lesson: Direct and Indirect Objects

An object is the part of a sentence that gives meaning to the subject’s action of the verb. For example: Alice caught the baseball. Subject=Alice Verb=caught Object=baseball

A direct object answers the question of who(m) or what. In the sentence above, you could determine that ‘baseball’ is a direct object by asking the question: What did Alice catch? She caught the baseball. Baseball is the direct object.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Program vs. Programme–What’s the Difference?

In American English, program is the correct spelling. In Australian English, program and programme are both acceptable. In British English, programme is the prefered spelling, although program is often used in computing contexts.

Decades ago, program appeared in American and British writing. In the nineteenth century, the Brits started to favor the French way of spelling it—programme.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Does Afk Mean?

  • Afk is an abbreviation for away from keyboard.
  • It lets people know that you will not be at your keyboard for a while, or that you will not be online for a period of time.

If you’re chatting online or playing an MMO, afk lets your friends know that you are stepping away from the keyboard.

The Meaning of Afk

Afk means away from keyboard, a phrase that lets others know that you won’t be at your computer for a while.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Realise or Realize?

Realise and realize are different spellings of the same word, and they can be used interchangeably. Both are common throughout the English-speaking world, though in different areas. Realize is preferred in American and Canadian English, while realise is preferred outside North America.

You can find more details about these spelling differences below.

Realise or Realize—Which Should I Use?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Hoping vs. Hopping

Even though the difference in spelling between hoping and hopping is just one letter, the difference in meaning is actually much bigger. All you need to do is hope and hop to see how big a difference it is.

What Is the Difference Between Hoping and Hopping?

When you look up the definition of hoping and the definition of hopping, you notice that they have one thing in common—both are present participles.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 Kids’ Grammar and Pronunciation Mistakes Too Cute to Correct

By Laura Wallis for The Stir by CafeMom

All parents have mental lists of this stuff—their kids’ hilarious mispronunciations and malapropisms that were so darn cute they couldn’t bear to set them straight. We polled a bunch of parents for some of their favorite examples.

By the way, this is what baby books were made for: Enjoy the quirks and write them down before you forget. (Or, even better, make some audio recordings!) There’s plenty of time for corrections later.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

24 of the Most Basic Grammar Rules

Have you mastered these basic grammar rules? If you’d like to answer yes, review your knowledge with the articles below. You might be surprised at how many rules you remember and how many rules you still need to learn.

The nouns that pronouns replace are antecedents. The antecedents must correspond to the nouns they refer to in gender and number.

What are some of the most commonly confused phrases in English and how can you say them correctly?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hot Off the Presses: New changes to the AP Stylebook

The Associated Press Stylebook is a guide for style and usage in written news reporting. Why do writers need a style guide? A style guide helps writers know what the rules are: whether the Oxford comma should be used or not, when to spell out numerals, how to capitalize the names of organizations, etc. Writers may use other style guides in different situations, including the Chicago Manual of Style and the American Medical Association Manual of Style.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apologise or Apologize?

  • Apologize is the standard American English spelling.
  • Apologise is the standard British English spelling.

Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to have a spelling error in a letter of apology? And it’s even more cringe-worthy if the word you spell wrong is one of the key elements of your message! So before you say you’re sorry, find out whether apologize or apologise is the right word.

To understand the issue better, let’s break down apology into its parts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5 Reasons the Writing World 
Should Celebrate Dyslexia

Guest Post by Doug Sprei and Jules Johnson,

For many people with dyslexia, writing and spelling are some of the most challenging activities in daily life. And yet in the midst of this difficulty, a world of creative thinking is awakened. Some of the most acclaimed authors, business leaders, scientists, and innovators are dyslexic. The next time you switch on a light bulb or reach for a favorite book, consider the following reasons that dyslexia is something to be celebrated.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How Language Represents Color

Every language represents colors with different words. Linguists have found some interesting patterns in how colors are represented in language. Let’s look at some of their most intriguing findings.

Predictable Sets of Colors

All languages distinguish colors. However, some languages represent colors in only two basic groups. Linguists found that all languages that have only two color distinctions base them on black (or dark) and white (or light).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

The future perfect continuous, also sometimes called the future perfect progressive, is a verb tense that describes actions that will continue up until a point in the future. The future perfect continuous consists of will + have + been + the verb’s present participle (verb root + -ing).

When we describe an action in the future perfect continuous tense, we are projecting ourselves forward in time and looking back at the duration of that activity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mustache vs. Moustache: Which Is Correct?

  • Mustache and moustache are both correct spellings of the same word.
  • Mustache is the most common spelling in the United States.
  • Moustache is is used in other English-speaking countries.
  • Mustachio is usually spelled without an “o” in the first syllable, although in the UK it is commonly written as a plural: mustachios.

From the pencil mustache of John Waters to the bushy moustache of General Melchett, upper-lip hair comes in variety of styles.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Warning: If You Don’t Know These Top 11 English Expressions, Your Life Abroad Could Be Really Hard

Guest Post By Akmal Akbarov at

Have you ever been in this situation? You meet with your friend, start the conversation, and suddenly stop because you can’t remember a certain word.

Or here is another situation. You may be abroad. You go to a shop and either don’t remember or simply don’t know the exact the word for this “tool you need for that certain thing that you have to do with the other thing.”

Friday, October 7, 2011

Essential History and Guide for Modern Acronym Use (Part 2 of 2)

Guest post from Scott Yates

Abbreviations and acronyms have embedded themselves in English as somewhat of an auxiliary language. If you thought Latin was a dead language, it isn’t. It lives somewhat zombie-like in some very common abbreviations like, e.g., i.e., etc.

(Notice how the “etc.” in that last sentence did double-duty there? No extra charge for that. 😉

(Same goes for the double-duty parenthesis at the end of the last parenthetical winky-face.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grammarly Announces Winner of 3rd Annual $1,000 Scholarship

On January 12, Grammarly launched its third annual scholarship essay competition, encouraging students to share their thoughts on one of two writing prompts:

  • What is poetry, and how does it influence your writing?
  • What is the funniest book you have ever read? Talk about why the book was funny and how it impacted you.

We received an overwhelming response from students of all ages, in all disciplines.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good Grammar Can Keep You Out of Trouble. Here’s How.

We’ve all heard the bad grammar horror stories: gory rumors of a brilliant job candidate missing out on an opportunity because of a misplaced comma or frighteningly funny-not-funny tales of a political candidate mangling a perfectly good one-liner (making it mean even less than it did originally).

Then, of course, there’s the seemingly never-ending barrage of listicles recounting the 10 Most Hilarious Grammar Mistakes You Have To See Before You Die or waxing lyrical about #Grammarfails That Only Grammar Lovers Will Understand.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Before E Except After C: 9 Helpful Spelling Rules

Learning spelling conventions can help you write with confidence. Which of the following rules are new to you?

S or ies?

To make a noun plural, you usually add S. However, you might have noticed that some words that end in Y deviate from the norm. For example, babies is the plural form of baby. How do you know when to change Y to ies? Look at the letter before the Y to find out. If it is a vowel, then add S.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Avoidance Tactics: Common English Mistakes

by Laura K. Lawless, writer at

Everyone makes mistakes when writing, sometimes due to simple typos, and other times because they just don’t know any better. Most people can spot their own typos when proofreading, but that only works when you know that it’s a mistake—what about when you don’t? Even native speakers mix up words that either look similar or have similar meanings, but there are simple techniques that can help you avoid some of these common mistakes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to Write Better Essays: 5 Concepts You Must Master

Your teacher hands you a graded essay. What do you look at first? Most college students turn their attention to the letter grade or percentage score. If it’s high, they are happy. If it’s low, they are disappointed. Many students end the review process at this point. What about you? If you want to write better essays, you will need to understand the criteria teachers use to score them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How much grammar should educators know? Let us know!

What is your opinion of this controversial topic? What role do you think educators play in grammar and writing education?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What Does Ikr Mean?

  • Ikr stands for I know, right.
  • Use ikr to agree with something someone said.

While some of the phrases used in text speak originated in that medium, others, like ikr, are adopted from everyday life.

The Meaning of Ikr

Ikr is an abbreviation for the phrase “I know, right.” The phrase first appeared during the early 1990s, and its first uses in electronic communication can be traced back to at least 2004.

Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Ghoulish Grammar Gaffes That Will Give You Chills

If you’re too old to be frightened by scary costumes, and you’ve watched so many horror movies that nothing can give you the chills anymore, you might think you’re preparing for a thrill-free Halloween. But we beg to differ. Creepier than the most realistic Halloween costumes, darker than the most terrifying horror movies, there are grammar mistakes—ghoulish and gnarly and gloomy and many other adjectives starting with the letter g.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How do you prefer to read books?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

Monday, September 19, 2011

7 Tips for Writing for Work and Job Searching

by Alison Doyle, Job Search Expert,

Whether you’re sending an email for work or writing a cover letter for a resumé, it’s important to remember that this is professional writing, not personal. Your writing ability reflects on you as an employee or a prospective employee.

It’s important to take the time to carefully write, edit and proofread all your correspondence before you click Send or upload a document online.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lies Your English Teacher Taught You: Prepositions

Guest post from Brent Calderwood

Writing is like painting. You have to know the rules before you can start experimenting with them. Think about it: Picasso had to paint a lot of pictures of horses with four legs before he started putting noses on people’s foreheads. It’s the same way with words. Good authors are playful and innovative with the English language, but they had to learn the basics first.

Funner vs. More Fun

  • As a noun, fun means enjoyment.
  • Fun is not universally accepted as an adjective. People who do accept it as an adjective seem to prefer more fun and most fun over funner and funnest.

Whether fun or more fun is correct seems like a simple question, but the answer isn’t exactly straightforward. To understand, you must examine the background of the word fun. Let’s get started.

Fun, the Noun

Fun is enjoyment, or something that provides amusement.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top 5 Books on Copywriting

Words influence our thoughts, our decisions, and our actions. They have a palpable effect on our lives. You can accomplish anything by saying the right word to the right person at the right time. That’s the power of words. (And of good timing, but mostly of words.) No one is more acutely aware of this than copywriters—people who use words to persuade other people to do something, like buying a service or a product.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Does Cursive Still Matter for Children?

By Laura Wallis for The Stir by CafeMom

When I was a kid my family moved a few times. Once, I had just started the third grade, and my class was beginning the cursive writing unit. When I arrived at my new school, that lesson was already done. So I was left to teach the skill to myself, by following the letter charts above the blackboard.

To this day, my handwriting is atrocious. But does it really matter?

Friday, September 9, 2011

7 Tips for Formulating the Perfect Five-Paragraph Essay.

Do you want to write a five-paragraph essay that makes your mama proud? In case you missed it, here’s the secret ingredient: structure. These seven tips will help you formulate the perfect five-paragraph essay.

Start With an Outline

Mapping out your essay before you begin writing helps you stay on point. Start by jotting down the following subheads, inserting ideas and research as you see fit.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Masters Degree or Master’s Degree?

  • The correct way to spell master’s degree is with the apostrophe.
  • The s in master’s indicates a possessive (the degree of a master), not a plural.
  • If you’re speaking of a specific degree, you should capitalize master and avoid creating a possessive: Master of Science.
  • The same rules apply to a bachelor’s degree.

You don’t have to be a bachelor to get a bachelor’s degree, but you do need to demonstrate mastery to get a master’s degree.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What is the Difference Between ‘Used to Cook,’ ‘Used to Cooking,’ and ‘Got Used to Cooking’?

Guest Post By Akmal Akbarov at

Have you ever wondered about the difference between “I used to cook every morning,” where we don’t add –ing to the verb ‘cook,’ and “I am used to cooking every morning”?

If you’re confused about the difference, I am going to explain everything in detail. I am sure you will be able to get the hang of it. 🙂

Let’s go!

‘Used to + verb’ for past events

Whenever you talk about events that happened a long time ago but don’t normally happen now, you should use this formula.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What Are Ghost Words?

Do you know what a dord is? No? Well, don’t try looking it up in the dictionary, unless the dictionary is Webster’s Second New International Dictionary of 1934. This strange little word appeared only in that one edition, and it spent a whole five years there, happily, before being discovered as a fake. You see, “dord” isn’t a real word, even though it appeared in a dictionary. It was the result of someone misreading a note written by Austin M.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

5 Grammatically Questionable Tattoos

Ever make an embarrassing grammatical mistake that other people judged you for? Of course you have; we’ve all made grammatical errors at some point. Now, imagine being stuck with one of those mistakes for the rest of your life. Believe it or not, people get misspelled or grammatically incorrect tattoos more often than you could imagine. How hard is it to do a quick Google search before permanently writing your biggest mistake ever? (Pretty difficult, apparently.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Confusing Sentences That Actually Make Sense

Let’s face it: Sometimes the English language can be downright bizarre. The plural of ox is oxen while the plural of box is boxes, ‘rough’ rhymes with ‘gruff’ even though the two words only have two letters in common, and there are actually more than nine hundred exceptions to the infamous “i before e except after c” rule.

If you’re still not convinced that the English language is full of oddities and conundrums, take a look at these five wacky sentences that are actually grammatically correct.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Editing Process: How to Get Started

by Georganna Hancock, M.S. editor at A Writer’s Edge, and special guest in this week’s #GrammarlyChat

When we speak of “editing” a manuscript, people generally have in mind copy or line editing. That concerns a variety of elements frequently labeled “grammar,” but in fact includes punctuation, capitalization, syntax and style matters.

Large publishers offer several other types of editing but independent editors also provide them on a freelance basis.

Friday, August 26, 2011

3 Apps to Save You Time on Work Chat

Do you often find yourself scrambling to get everything done? The good news is that taking a few short seconds to install an app can save you hours. If you use Slack to communicate at work, learn how to make this collaboration tool work most effectively.

Apps for Slack

Reacji Channeler

Imagine that you want to send the same message to various people on a regular basis. In the past, you might have tediously copied the message from one channel to another.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

5 Funniest Grammar/Spelling Mistakes in Kids’ Letters

It’s always adorable when children attempt to write letters or caption illustrations, but can’t quite get the wording right. What’s even more adorable is when children write something they didn’t intend to write at all. Whether the culprit is bad handwriting or simply not sounding out a word correctly, ensure that you are encouraging your child to write by being supportive of all attempts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

3 Works to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

In President Obama’s final State of the Union address, he included a call on Americans to use their “voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called them. Dr. King’s legacy lives on not only in Obama’s speech but also in the minds and hearts of Americans as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday of January each year. The following three books are touching reminders of the life of this exceptional activist, humanitarian, and civil rights leader.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Does grammar affect your product choices?

This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.

Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.

How to Use “Alike” and “Same” Correctly

A well-known idiom says that great minds think alike. It’s what we say when two people think of the same great idea at the same time. History is full of examples that reaffirm the claim that great minds think alike, with discoveries and inventions like the jet engine and the theory of evolution being made at roughly the same time by different people. However, this idiom is interesting to us for an entirely different reason.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Alright or All Right—Which Is Correct?

People are often surprised to learn that alright is not an accepted spelling of all right. Although the one-word spelling of alright is seen in informal writing, teachers and editors will always consider it incorrect. To use the expression with impunity, it is best to spell it as two words: all right.

It’s possible that you stared at your paper in wonder the first time your English teacher marked alright as an incorrect spelling.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Should You Take Notes By Hand or Electronically?

At a professional conference in 2014, Clive Thompson, a writer for The New York Times Magazine, presented “The Pencil and the Keyboard: How The Way You Write Changes the Way You Think.” In this session, he claimed that handwriting was better than typing in certain situations and vice versa. One attendee, Eric Peters, decided to explore the issue further in the article “Keyboard vs.

Friday, August 12, 2011

15 Words English Borrowed From Chinese

When people are learning a language, often they learn the names of delicious foods. English has adopted the names of many Chinese dishes. However, you may be surprised to realize that many other everyday words and phrases are also borrowed from various dialects of Chinese.


Bok choy is an Asian green that can be cooked or eaten raw. In Chinese, the expression derives from words meaning “white vegetable” because of the white stalks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grammarly: An ESL Writer’s Best Friend

Guest post by Erik Bowitz

Grammarly is widely known in the United States as an extremely useful tool for writers looking to quickly and easily write error-free prose. However, there is an even larger, and much less talked about group of writers who are equally enthusiastic about the opportunities Grammarly’s automated proofreader provides: English as a Second Language (ESL) writers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Job Seekers: What’s Wrong with Your Resume? Probably More than You Think.

#WhatIWrite: Cover Letters and Resumes

More than two thirds of salaried jobs require a significant amount of writing, making written communication a key consideration in hiring. Yet, top organizations still spend more than $3 Billion (with a “B”!) per year on remedial training to improve employees’ writing to baseline standards.

Cover letters and resumes are, not surprisingly, a great way for potential employers to assess candidate’s writing skills.