Thursday, January 31, 2013

What’s the Problem with Passive Voice?

If you’re a grammar nerd, chances are you have an opinion about the passive voice. Whether you think it’s acceptable or should be completely avoided, it’s important to understand what passive voice is and how it’s used.

Passive voice occurs when the object of the action in the sentence becomes the subject of the sentence. The opposite of passive voice is active voice, in which the subject simply performs the action.

How Do You Spell Donut?

Donut is an alternate spelling of doughnut. Some dictionaries point out that donut is rarely used outside the United States. All of them recognize doughnut as the main spelling, as do some of the more popular style guides. Doughnut might be the spelling you should use if you want to be sure you’re not making a mistake.

Doughnuts: the thing no stereotypical law enforcement officer can be seen without.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BRB, I’m learning these grammar rules for texting!

Post written by Hadiyah Dache

Keeping up with grammar rules when you’re texting and tweeting can be difficult. We get it—your characters are limited and you’ve got to keep things brief—but the challenge with typing in shorthand is the risk of getting things lost in translation (and autocorrect misinterpreting what you’re trying to say entirely). Communicating a clear message through texts and tweets can be even trickier now that emoji use is replacing words altogether.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Comma Between Subject and Verb

With few exceptions, a comma should not separate a subject from its verb.

My friend Cleo, is a wonderful singer.

Writers are often tempted to insert a comma between a subject and verb this way because speakers sometimes pause at that point in a sentence. But in writing, the comma only makes the sentence seem stilted.

My friend Cleo is a wonderful singer.

Be especially careful with long or complex subjects:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stay Away From These 5 Cliché Endings

Writing a book is difficult, but trying to pick an ending that is both impactful and wraps the plot up beautifully is even more difficult. Beginning your book is important, but ending it can be equally so. Relying on clichés won’t get the job done. As an author, you’ll only leave your readers feeling disappointed and dissatisfied.

Make sure to stay away from these five cliché endings:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

6 Plagiarism Gaffes That Will Make You Gasp

With the revelation of Melania Trump’s alleged plagiarism of a 2008 Michelle Obama speech, plagiarism is suddenly front-page news. Although this may be the most talked-about instance of plagiarism at the moment, it’s far from the first. Plagiarism has existed as long as intellectual property has, and there have been numerous public figures accused of this academic transgression, including the United States’ current president and vice president.

Monday, January 21, 2013

What Is the Difference Between Acknowledgement and Acknowledgment?

This post acknowledges the pesky spelling of acknowledg(e)ment. If the verb ends in -e, where does that letter go when you add the -ment?

For the most part, folks in the United States or Canada will ditch the E, while people outside North America tend to keep it. But that’s far from a hard-and-fast rule, so chances are you’ll see both spellings regardless of where you’re reading.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why You NEED to Write Every Day

Alzheimer’s, dementia, and severe memory loss affect memory, thinking, language, and behavior—even beyond expected decreases in function from the typical aging process. But according to a recent study by the Medical Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, there are some strategies to help you avoid this type of cognitive decline that you can begin working on now. First and foremost: Be a bookworm!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Concrete Nouns vs. Abstract Nouns

All nouns fall into one of two categories: concrete nouns and abstract nouns.

What Is a Concrete Noun?

A concrete noun is a noun that can be identified through one of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, hearing, or smell). Consider the examples below:

Would someone please answer the phone?

In the sentence above, the noun phone is a concrete noun: you can touch it, see it, hear it, and maybe even smell it or taste it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

5 Children’s Books You Should Read As an Adult

Many of us have special memories of books that changed our worlds as children. I’ll never forget snuggling up next to my dad while he read a section of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia to my brother and me each night before bed. Here are five books and series for kids that we recommend re-reading as an adult:

The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder Based on Wilder’s experiences growing up on the American frontier, the Little House series paints an intimate portrait of an exciting time in American history.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Should I Use Will or Would in an If-Clause?

Many writers wonder if it’s equally correct to use “will” or “would” in an if-clause. The short answer is no, but there are exceptions to the rule. An if- or when-clause (often used to form conditional sentences) generally does not contain “will,” which is the simple future tense of the verb “to be.” One exception is when the action in the if- or when-clause takes place after that in the main clause.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Primary Differences Among Major International English Dialects

The British Empire hasn’t been in existence for almost three-quarters of a century. At the peak of its might, it covered close to a quarter of the world’s land area and ruled a fifth of its population. But the empire changed, transformed, and passed as all things pass. When the territories Britain had conquered gained freedom, there was one thing that remained as evidence of how grand the empire once was—the English language.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

7 Easy Phone Interview Tips That Will Help You Get The Job

The job hunting process can be long and stressful. You’ve crafted the perfect resume, sent out countless cover letters, and now you’ve finally heard back that you’ve got a phone interview. This should be a walk in the park, right? An obligatory step to confirm you’re a real human.

Until you find yourself on the phone with the interviewer and they’re not just chatting you up. They’re asking you real questions, some of them tough questions, and your throat is going dry and you’re talking a million miles a minute and then it’s all over and you’re wondering what just happened.