Friday, September 27, 2013

7 Fundamental Rules of Poetry

Some people let poetry intimidate them because they get the idea that poetry is all about rhyming, iambic pentameter, and obscure language. While it is true that some of the most beautiful poems are also difficult to understand, poetry in general isn’t that tough. By following some simple guidelines, you can pen verses that are poignant, pure, and easy on the ears.

Employ Imagery

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Is Comradery?

  • Comradery is a spirit of friendship and community between two people or a group of people.
  • Camaraderie is the more popular spelling, but comradery is an acceptable alternate.

Comradery is easy to find among the members of a winning team. Victorious teammates might high-five each other and recount the highlights of the game. Success creates a bond for the players that often continues off the court.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How Gaming Can Up-Level Your Communication at Work

The guild’s next raid will be a daring one: your small company is barely a month away from unveiling its new product. Everyone in your party will need to understand the plan and play their part in this perilous adventure.

Andrea, a level-thirty design mage, is worried there might be hidden traps en route to the treasure. Ben and Eduardo, both seasoned software paladins, are not certain the team can crank out enough rapid-fire damage to finish off the nefarious code lich in time.

Monday, September 23, 2013

This Week in Writing, 9/5-9/11

Do you ever worry that one day someone will invent a robot that puts you out of a job? If you happen to be a choose-your-own adventure novelist, that worry just might have become a little bit more real. Check out that story and a few other highlights from around the web this week. Have something you’d like to see us cover here? Let us know in the comment section!

Our Favorite Stories:

  1. Georgia Tech’s AI Is a Choose-Your-Own Adventure Author (Engadget)
  2. The Most Popular Books in U.S.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Typos: Should You Forgive or Forget?

Typos–we all hate them–but are some typos more unforgivable than others? That depends largely on what you are writing and for what audience. Below are several typo scenarios ranging from green light (no problem, speed on ahead) to yellow (caution) to red light (zero, and I do mean zero, typos allowed). A good general rule of thumb is the wider the audience and more formal the setting, the less “allowable” the typos.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Best Podcasts to Help Your Work Life

Some say you are what you eat. What about what you listen to? Edison Research found that people who listen to podcasts “often take action in direct response” to what they hear. If you have a career goal, it only makes sense that listening to an informational or motivational podcast on the subject will help you. Here are seven of the best podcasts for improving life at work.

Brain Training Podcast

According to its website, Brain Training Podcast is “the daily audio workout for your head.” Just as physical exercise strengthens your body, mental stimulation makes your brain stronger.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ax vs. Axe–What’s the Difference?

Ax and axe are different spellings of the same word. There is no difference in meaning or pronunciation. However, you might be surprised by all the possible meanings these two spellings share. The Merriam-Webster lists three primary definitions besides the cutting tool. Axe also refers to a hammer with a sharp edge for dressing or spalling stone. Musical instruments, such as guitars and saxophones, are also axes.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Brought and Bought—Learn the Difference Quickly

Brought and bought are two words are often confused with each other, particularly when one first learns English. They are both irregular verbs with an -ough- construction—a combination that trips many up with both pronunciation and spelling.

The Difference between “Brought” and “Bought”

Brought is the past tense and past participle of the verb to bring, which means “to carry someone or something to a place or person.”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Speak Like Yoda You Can

Whether you’re a diehard Star Wars fan or you’re still a newbie, chances are you know Yoda speak when you hear it. The Jedi master’s method of speaking includes quirky sentence structures, unusual words, and wise phrases. Read on for some theories of Yoda-speak and a guide to talking like Yoda on your own.

Yoda’s East African Roots

If you’ve ever thought that Yoda’s way of speaking sounds almost primeval, you’re not far off.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What is the Most Maddening Writing Error? Misused Apostrophes

Grammarly’s cut-throat competition to determine the most “maddening” writing error concluded on April 6, 2014 with MISUSED APOSTROPHES crowned as the undisputed Grammar Madness bracket champion.

Tens of thousands of grammarians voted in 16 separate match-ups representing the most annoying errors in English writing.

According to one voter in the final match-up between YOUR/YOU’RE and MISUSED APOSTROPHES: “[I]t seems like there is a whole new wave of people who believe that you NEED an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to make a word plural.”

Monday, September 9, 2013

Modal Verbs–Definition and Usage

Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs (also called helping verbs) like can, will, could, shall, must, would, might, and should. After a modal verb, the root form of a verb is generally used. The word to should not appear after a modal verb. An exception is the phrase ought to, which is considered a modal verb.

Modal verbs add meaning to the main verb in a sentence by expressing possibility, ability, permission, or obligation.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives: Rules and Examples

Adjectives can compare two things or more than two things. When we make these comparisons, we use comparative and superlative forms of adjectives.


One way to describe nouns (people, objects, animals, etc.) is by comparing them to something else. When comparing two things, you’re likely to use adjectives like smaller, bigger, taller, more interesting, and less expensive.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Grammar Basics: What Is the Perfect Form of “Be”?

Many of the most commonly used nouns have irregular conjugations in the past simple and perfect forms. “To be” is one of these. Learn more about perfect forms.

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

Monday, September 2, 2013

Suppose vs. Supposed—Is There a Difference?

Supposed to is part of a modal verb phrase meaning expected to or required to. Although suppose to crops up frequently in casual speech and writing, it should not be used in that sense. Suppose (without the d) should only be used as the present tense of the verb meaning to assume (something to be true).

When to Use Supposed To

To be supposed to is a common phrase that functions the same way a modal verb does.