Friday, September 28, 2012

Offline and Online, Poor Spelling “Spells” Trouble for Men Looking for Love

Is grammar a game changer for people who are looking for love?

Imagine you’re sitting at a bar and an attractive stranger passes you a hastily scribbled note on a napkin. In addition to that person’s phone number, the note includes one of the following messages:

Its destiny that we met.

UR my soul mate.

Your beautiful.

Their isn’t a doubt in my mind that we will spend the rest of our lives together.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 Foundational Writers in Women’s History

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice and feminist, said, “I would like in my lifetime to see women get fired up about the Equal Rights Amendment.” Under the US Constitution, women are guaranteed the right to vote; the ERA would guarantee equal rights in all other areas of the law regardless of sex, but it isn’t part of the US Constitution yet. Ginsburg’s eighty-third birthday is on the 15th of March, which is also Women’s History Month, and the perfect time to ask: are we fired up yet?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are You Sending Emoji or Emojis?

What do you call those tiny pictures we all use in texts and chats? Do you opt for the Japanese-inspired “emoji” or the English-focused “emojis”?

The debate between these two pluralizations of emoji has been raging for almost as long as emojis have existed. To quote Bustle writer Lucia Peters, the answer to this question is both “incredibly simple and unexpectedly complicated.”

The Short Answer—Emojis

The Associated Press took a hard stand on this issue in March 2013, making it one of the first style guides to draw a line in the sand in favor of “emojis.” Since then, major publications like The Atlantic and The New York Times have mostly adopted this spelling as well, and the emoji-tracking dictionary Emojipedia has officially supported the “-s” pluralization for ease of use.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Center or Centre–Which Is Right?

Do you speak British or American English? Depending on your answer, you may differ on which spellings you favor.

Center and centre have the same meaning. Center is the correct spelling in American English, but British English writers usually prefer centre. Notice that center (and centre) can be a noun, adjective, or a verb. Seeing the two words in real-life examples may help you to visualize how to use them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Avoid Overusing Adverbs

Overuse of adverbs

The boy ran really fast to catch the runaway ball.

The boy sprinted to catch the runaway ball.

Adverbs—those words that often end in -ly—modify verbs. They’re okay once in a while, but in excess they’re an indicator of weak verb choices. In our example, the adverb “really fast” modifies the verb “ran.” But does “really fast” paint a more vivid word-picture for the reader?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What language skill do you wish you knew more about?

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 17, 2012

Read Today or Pay Tomorrow: Celebrating International Children’s Book Day

Guest post by David Dotson of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton has taught me lots of lessons over the past 16 years:

Be proud of who you are.

To reach your goals you may have to step around people or step over people, but never step on people.

Count your blessings more often than you count your money.

Yet the greatest gift she gave me was the gift of reading. I stepped into a situation in which she told me that she wanted to share her Imagination Library with children all over the world.

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Create Sharp Angles in Your Writing

This assignment should be no problem. In fact, it’ll be a blast. What could go wrong? Suppose for a moment that all you have to do is write a children’s song about otters.

The trouble is, there are so many scintillating facts about otters that it’s hard to know where to begin. Do you start with general info—that they’re highly adorable four-legged carnivorous swimmers? Or do you zero in on something more specific?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What Does It Mean to “Pore Over” Something?

This one’s pretty easy: pouring something over a book would mean spilling something on it. Poring over a book means reading it with great attention. “Pour” and “pore” are never interchangeable; they are two completely different words.

There’s a well of spelling mistakes in the English language that never seems to dry up. A bump on the road that keeps tripping people and never seems to be fixed.

Is formal writing too formal?

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 10, 2012

All the Best Writing from the 2017 NBA Finals

For the second time in three seasons, the Golden State Warriors can lay claim to being NBA Champions after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-1, in the 2017 NBA Finals. Kevin Durant played a pivotal role for the Warriors’ championship run, averaging 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game on his way to being named NBA Finals MVP.

But there’s more to the story than the opening paragraph of this piece.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

8 Ways to Hack Your Email (With Fun)

You’re not likely to count emailing as one of your top ten favorite pastimes. But you might change your mind after you read this article! Here are eight amazing ways to make your email experience enjoyable.

Challenge Your Friends to a Game

According to, the very first correspondence chess game might date back to a competition between the Byzantine emperor and the caliph of Baghdad in the ninth century.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

8 Email Tips for Introverts

According to the Myers-Briggs Foundation, you are an introvert if you feel most comfortable focusing on “your own inner world.” External world activities, such as talking with people directly or on the phone, prove challenging. While emailing may seem less intense, it has its challenges too. These eight tips are specially designed to make emailing as painless as possible for introverts.

Monday, September 3, 2012

6 Grammatically Questionable Epitaphs

Gravestones are meant to live on long after the person they represent has passed. It’s important to make sure they’re both well-deserved celebrations of life and completely accurate, since correcting these stones can be an arduous and expensive process. In honor of “Plan Your Epitaph Day,” which took place yesterday, here are six famous examples of epitaphs with grave spelling or grammatical errors.