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.