Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Work Jargon We Wish Would Disappear

Every office has its own sort of language—vocabulary that people frequently use when they’re at work but probably wouldn’t use that often otherwise. We’re used to office jargon, but we’d like to take a minute to review some of the business-y words that do the job while kind of driving us crazy at the same time. Jargon varies from office to office, but here are five of the words and phrases that make us cringe.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Watch Your Language in Corporate Emails

We are “devolving” into lackadaisical proofreaders.

Even senior management and professionals with advanced degrees and experience no longer show the stamina or desire to ensure that their written words convey exactly what they are meant to–and our carelessness is coming to a head.

This is compounded by the fact that, more than ever, human beings are being judged on word choice. In large part, this is a result of our increasing reliance on written communication to conduct both business and personal relationships.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Essential History and Guide for Modern Acronym Use (Part 1 of 2)

Guest post from Scott Yates

As founder of a blogging service for business operators too busy to write their own posts, I pay a lot of attention to “good” writing.

We have a wide variety of clients, and our challenges involve the mastery of industry jargon, including acronyms and abbreviations.

So, if a client asks for a piece on search engine optimization or customer resource management — acronymically SEO and CRM — should the blogger just jump in and use the abbreviation, or should we genuflect at the altar of convention and have each abbreviation undergo the initiation of being spelled out at least once?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Are You a Word Nerd?

Grammar is cool now (it’s still cool, right?) so it’s okay to wave your red pen in the air like you just don’t care. Take the quiz below and find out just how much of a word nerd you really are. Give yourself a point for each statement you agree with.

  • You correct the lyrics to pop songs as you sing along. It’s the “one who got away,” Katy Perry.
  • The “ten items or less” sign at the grocery store still sends you into a rage after all these years.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grammar is Only a Piece of the Pie

This Thanksgiving, Grammarly embarked on a quest to find the most delicious pumpkin pie recipe on the web. We discovered some complicated concoctions from celebrity chefs, some simple secrets from popular brands like Libby’s and Bisquick, and some interesting instructions from online recipe sites.

It was too difficult for us to decide on the “best” pumpkin pie recipe, but we did notice a few trends that we wanted to share with you in preparation for the season of holiday sweets and festive treats.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thru vs. Through—Which Is Right?

  • Through can be a preposition, an adjective, and an adverb.
  • Through is the only formally accepted spelling of the word.
  • Thru is an alternate spelling that should be used only in informal writing or when referring to drive-throughs.

As if all the confusion over the words through and threw wasn’t enough, modern English has piled on yet another homophone: thru.

Through vs. Thru

Through can be used as a preposition, an adverb, and an adjective.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

3 Quick Tips to Make Your Cover Letters Better

Guest post from Brie Weiler Reynolds

For job seekers, making a strong first impression is crucial. With employers spending so little time screening cover letters and resumes before deciding if your application will make it to the next round, it’s imperative to use that precious space well. Your cover letter acts as an introduction between yourself and the employer. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to make customized, quality cover letters to help your application stand out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Is it “Preferably” or “Preferrably?”

There’s only one way you can spell the adverb preferably. You can’t add another “f,” “r,” or “l”—there’s really no need to do it.

Let’s be honest here—mistakes happen to the best of us. We’d have a hard time finding a writer who, at some point, didn’t miswrite “the” as “hte” or “teh.” In haste, it might also be possible to mistake “to” for “too,” or “their” for “they’re.” And that’s perfectly fine, as long as you go over your work, notice your mistakes, and fix them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Ask for Days Off (And Actually Get Them)

There’s a good possibility that you need a day (or two, or more) off work. NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a poll and found that about half of Americans who work fifty-plus hours a week don’t take all or most of the vacation they’ve earned. Of those who do take time off, about 30 percent say they do a significant amount of work during what’s supposed to be their hard-earned leisure time.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

March MADness Championship: What’s the Worst Work Habit?

The time has come to choose the most vile, odious, offensive, and obnoxious work pet peeve. March MADness has had its ups and downs, covering everything from emojis to people who like to lean in when they talk. But alas, all good things must come to an end, and the time has come to choose our March MADness champion.

Now, let’s meet our Final Infuriating Four. Vote for your least favorite habit to be crowned the worst work habit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Writing the “Great American Novel?” Here Are the Top Three Mistakes You’ll Make

According to an oft-quoted 2002 article from The New York Times, 81 percent of Americans believe they have a book in them – and that they should write it.

In November, 41,940 participants in National Novel Writing Month did just that when they successfully wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. At the same time, because not all novelists-to-be have the time to write a solo-book, the Grammarly team organized a group of authors to collaborate on one novel.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Grammar Basics: What is the correct word order in English?

Word order in English is fixed for most speaking and writing.

In English, sentences start with a subject and are immediately followed by a verb. In questions, this order is switched.

She is a friend.
Is she a friend?

To learn more about grammar and to help us celebrate National Grammar Day this March, visit our new resource page.

5 Staggering Love Poems to Inspire

We can thank poets for transferring love from heart to pen to paper. Romantic poetry resurfaces during engagements, weddings, and Valentine’s Day, when we’re prompted to ponder what love is, how we value it, and how we express it. Is our love best expressed by candy, cards, and flowers? These poets seem to think not. Turn to the experts for inspiration from these five staggering love poems that tap into the heart of true romance; there’s a poem for the lonely hearts this Valentine’s Day, too.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spotlight: How Khan Academy Is Transforming Education

In mathematical language, a transformation changes a form without changing its value. If that doesn’t mean much to you, let Sal explain it to you in a short video complete with examples and diagrams. Salman (Sal) Khan is the founder of Khan Academy, an online academy that offers math, science, art, and other courses free of charge. Though there are no English grammar classes yet, students seeking to sharpen their skills can still benefit from the academy’s offerings.