Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Canceled or Cancelled?

This word is a student’s best friend and a concert-goer’s most dreaded nightmare. Take these two signs:

Snow day: school canceled.

Drummer has food poisoning: performance cancelled.

So, which spelling is correct? The answer depends on where you call home.

Canceled or cancelled is the past tense of the verb to cancel. Both spellings are correct; Americans favor canceled (one L), while cancelled (two Ls) is preferred in British English and other dialects.

Monday, October 29, 2012

You’ll Never Guess the Origins of These 3 Bizarrely Spelled English Words

English is linguistically categorized as a West Germanic language. Though it is now the most widely spoken language in the world, English actually got a pretty small start.

In the fifth century, many related Germanic dialects fused together, collectively becoming what is now known as Old English. These dialects were brought to the eastern coast of England by Germanic settlers and eventually gained a stronghold in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England in what is now southeast Scotland.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Colossal List of Creators to Inspire Your Writing

Whether you write novels, blogs, marketing content, news articles, movies, social media posts, transcripts for podcasts, or something that we don’t even know about yet, you probably sometimes feel the need for inspiration. Maybe you could use some tips on reaching a wider audience. If you work freelance, maybe you’re in search of some ideas for expanding your business. Or perhaps you’re in the market for a new set of skills—web design, marketing strategy, new media, you name it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Relax, Grammar Pedant. Everything You Know Is Wrong

Rules are rules, and they exist for a reason. They create order and minimize uncertainty. They are necessary because nothing would work without them. But some people don’t seem to understand that.

They don’t understand why it’s bad to split your infinitives, or why you shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction, or why you can’t end it with a preposition. Some people just don’t care.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What to Do When Someone Takes Credit for Your Work

You feel great after finishing a project, but then someone else takes the credit. What should you do? If you lose your cool, you could lose your job. Don’t run the risk! Let’s look at three scenarios and some strategies that can help you turn a bad situation into a favorable one.

The Passive Praise Stealer

You collaborate with a coworker on a project. Later, you overhear your boss commend your colleague: “What a fantastic job!

Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Awesome and Underused Scrabble Words

If a perfect game for competitive wordsmiths exists, Scrabble is it. Not only does the game allow you to flex your vocabulary muscles, it also encourages you to use key strategies to increase your score. When you play these seven underused words, you’ll have a winning chance at an all-time Scrabble high score.


One of the easiest ways to score big with Scrabble is to use one or more of the highest-ranked letter tiles.

14 People Who May Love Books More Than You Do

Loving books is not a competition. There’s no such thing as a bookworm grand prix. But then again, it’s hard not to notice that some people are bigger bookworms than others or are expressing their love of books in ways that other people might find a little bit too out there. From creating elaborate reading corners and having tattoos of books to building bookshelves that spell “worm” and simply having a lot of books on a to-read list, people celebrate their love of books in many different, creative ways.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores Are Bringing Their A-Game: Help Spread the Love

Do you love being able to walk into your local bookstore and actually pick up a book and look through its pages?

The boom in e-reader and tablet sales are creating stiff competition for brick and mortar bookstores. Just as the corporate chains threatened to gobble up the independent competition in the pre-tablet, today’s digital media giants threaten brick and mortar merchants. Bookstore owners and managers are forced to think outside of the proverbial box in order to find creative ways of marketing their tangible wares for a public increasingly drawn to cloud storage and digital copies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

3 Punctuation Mistakes That Can Make You Look Like A Cannibal

1. Eat your dinner. vs Eat. You’re dinner.

Normal: Eat your dinner. Cannibalistic: Eat. You’re dinner.

That apostrophe (‘) is important! There are often a lot of hilarious (sometimes scary) sentences that come about when people confuse “your” and “you’re.” To avoid looking like a creep, it’s best to remember that your is the possessive form of you. It functions just like my does in relation to me.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Clean Up Your Resume After a Work Break

Honesty is the best policy. This old adage proves true in many situations. According to, truthful job seekers project confidence and a sense of integrity, qualities that employers highly value. However, have you ever met someone who is too candid? TMI is an acronym for too much information. For certain, you do not want potential employers to be reminded of these three letters when they read your resume.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Does what you read influence how you write?

The Grammarly team is growing quickly, which means that we’re writing a lot of job descriptions to help us recruit top talent. One recent job post stated: “Salary will be commensurate with experience.”

Commensurate . . . commensurate . . . commensurate . . .

Perhaps you know what that word means; you may even understand how to use it in the context of a sentence. However, if you are like me, you have no idea how to actually say it aloud.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

3 Things Introverts Feel on Valentine’s Day

Oh, Valentine’s Day—the holiday of love and romance! Or, at least, it’s supposed to be. For me, as a strong introvert with generalized anxiety, holidays are pretty much like those “Mystery Gifts” you bought at dollar stores as a kid. Expectations for awesomeness bloom in your head, only to wither away under a hodgepodge of mediocrity. It’s not all bad, though. Here are a few things that introverts feel on Valentine’s Day and some thoughts on what to do about it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Catalog vs. Catalogue

  • Catalogue and catalog are both acceptable spellings.
  • Catalog is most popular in American English.
  • Catalogue is the most common form in other parts of the world.

Some stores compile lists of products you can buy from them. These lists (often in book form) are sometimes accompanied by descriptions and photos of the products. You may see this book described as either a catalog or a catalogue.

Practice or Practise–Which Spelling Is Right?

Practice with a C or practise with an S—which spelling is correct? In American English, practice is always right. In British English, whether practice or practise is the correct choice depends on its role in the sentence. How can you know which form to use?

In American English, practice may function as a noun or a verb. Regardless of its role in the sentence, the correct spelling is always practice with a C.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is It Honor or Honour?

The notion of honor varies greatly from one culture to another. Ideas about what it means to have it, how to obtain it, and how to preserve are studied by sociologists and anthropologists. But here we’ll be studying how to spell it. Here’s the deal: you can write honor in your college paper, or honour in your university test, and in both cases you’d be correct. But some might frown if you do it the other way around, because there is a slight difference between the two spellings that has nothing to do with the meaning of the word itself: Honor is the preferred spelling in American English and is pronounced ˈä-nər; Honour is the preferred spelling in British English and is pronounced /ˈɒnə/.

Monday, October 1, 2012

5 Books for Understanding Women’s History

Close your eyes. Can you picture the significant women in your life? The images of women whom you interacted with during your lifetime are vivid, but what about those who lived in generations past? Even when no physical traces survive, we can still envision them. How so? Notice how Emily Dickinson gave a glimpse of her physical appearance: “I had no portrait, now, but am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut Bur – and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the Guest leaves – Would this do just as well?” Can you see her in her words?