Friday, March 30, 2012

Negatives and Negation–Grammar Rules

When you want to express the opposite meaning of a particular word or sentence, you can do it by inserting a negation. Negations are words like no, not, and never. If you wanted to express the opposite of I am here, for example, you could say I am not here.

Below, you’ll find lists of common negative words used to negate ideas.

Negative words:

  • No
  • Not
  • None
  • No one
  • Nobody
  • Nothing
  • Neither
  • Nowhere
  • Never

Negative Adverbs:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

9 Adorable Animal Collective Nouns

Five hundred years ago, gentlemen used specialized vocabulary when referring to groups of animals. Most of the group names came from The Book of St. Albans, published in 1486. Their etymologies have been lost over the years, but why not have a guess?

A coterie of groundhogs

Around the eighteenth century, some French farmers called côtiers banded together to work feudal lands. A coterie is an exclusive group who spends time together pursuing common interests.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to Date Introverts, From an Introvert

Dear Prospective Dates,

We need to talk. After a string of meh encounters, it’s time to clear the air: I’m a lady introvert*, and the way you’ve been going about courtship just isn’t working. As an introvert, I need a much lower level of mental stimulation to operate than ambiverts or extroverts require. Though everyone is different, you should know that we introverts don’t like “typical” dating approaches.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Plural of Octopus: Octopi or Octopuses?

How do you make octopus plural? It’s simple!

The plural is octopuses. Why do some dictionaries also list octopi as a possibility? In Latin, some plurals end with an i. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. The i was a mistake, but so many people adopted it that it became an acceptable alternative. Many people don’t like octopi, and you will rarely see it in edited works, but it does occasionally appear.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Occurred, Occured, or Ocurred—Which Spelling Is Right?

Spelling words isn’t always easy, especially when they contain double letters. In this case, the correct spelling is occurred. How can you remember it when you need it?

The best way to remember how to spell occurred is to remember its double set of double consonants. In English, the final letter is doubled when a word of two or more syllables has stress on the final syllable. Occur fits the rule, so there are two Cs and two Rs in occurred.

5 Foundational Writers in Environmentalism

We tend to look at the world’s problems with sustainable development and environmental troubles as the burning issues of our time. The environmentalist movement has been gaining momentum for the last couple of decades, and at this point, most of us should acknowledge that the world has a problem and that we need to fix it. For those purposes, here’s a short list of influential authors who will help inspire the environmentalist in you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grammar Basics: What Is Objective Case?

An direct object is a noun or noun phrase that receives the action of a transitive 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.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Knowledge is Power: Using Idioms To Give Power To Your Writing

Some writers use idioms to “add color” to their writing, while others are adamant about keeping their text as simple as possible. While idioms can certainly clutter your work with unnecessary detail, they may also introduce powerful imagery into your text. Since “knowledge is power,” let’s take a look at the best way to accomplish this.

First, what is an idiom? An idiom is an expression with a figurative meaning that differs from the literal meaning.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Can’t Sleep? Here are 3 Books You Should Read in Bed

For many book lovers, reading in bed is one of life’s greatest pleasures. In order to enjoy the experience to the fullest, it’s important to choose the right book for the right time. Here are three books we recommend reading in bed.

When you want to stay in bed longer: His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman Although this series is written for children, it’s a pleasure to read as an adult.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Lot vs. Alot vs. Allot

A lot, alot, and allot only differ by a few spaces or letters. However, all of the terms function differently. Let’s investigate how to use each one.

What Does a Lot Mean?

Alot is a common misspelling of a lot. A lot should always be spelled as two words. The meaning of a lot depends on the context. Usually, it means “many” or “to a great extent.” Let’s look at some examples.

Shelley reads a lot of books during her morning commute.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Essay Writing Mistakes: The 3 Ss and How to Correct Them

Guest Post by Jennifer Frost, LoroCreative

“To write is human, to edit is divine.” — Stephen King

You’ve probably already read and heard the tips on how to write an essay, from developing a thesis statement to crafting an unforgettable conclusion. But you may still dread showing your work to others because you are not sure if you’ve missed some errors or failed to follow a rule. Maybe you don’t have a teacher, an editor, or a friend beside you all the time to identify the parts of your writing that you need to correct or improve.

Friday, March 9, 2012

7 Simple and Quick Editing Tips That Will Elevate Your Writing

Guest post by Matt Banner

It doesn’t matter if you’re a New York Times bestselling author or a blogger from Kansas, everyone has to edit their work. The first draft is always a mess of disorganized thoughts and uncertain tangents. Writing begins as chaos and ends with order. It has been this way since the dawn of time.

Saving time while also polishing your work is every writer’s goal.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10 Best Grammar Resources for Students

Something great happened on March 4, 2008. Martha Brockenbrough, through The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, established National Grammar Day in the United States. It’s a day to celebrate all that grammar does. Would you like to wish your friends a Happy Grammar Day? Make sure you don’t have any errors in your messages! How can you make sure your grammar is in tip-top shape?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why Do We Need Style Guides?

If you don’t like to follow the rules, style guides are a necessary evil. They give uniformity and structure to writing and are an invaluable resource when writing papers in university; the skill of writing according to a style guide will also help you in your career. They teach you how to avoid plagiarism by correctly citing works that you’ve read and obtained information from.

Style guides outline the standards for writing citations and formatting a document.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Six of the Best Holiday Books for Students

During the holiday season, students and everyday readers alike love to settle down with a good book, getting nice and cozy to escape the rush. Ideally this literary refuge takes place by a warm fireside, while the snow falls outside. While that might not always be possible, there are a few staples of holiday literature which are guaranteed to put readers in the mood for Christmas while providing some literary value.