Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Led or Lead—The Past Tense of Lead?

  • Led is the correct way to spell the past tense of lead.
  • Lead is a common misspelling of the past tense of the verb lead.

The past tense of the verb lead is led, not lead. One reason for the confusion might be that a similar verb, read, has an infinitive that’s spelled the same as the past tense. But with lead, that’s not how things are.

Definition of Led

Led is the past tense of the verb lead:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday Motivation Hack: Breaking Bad Habits

At any given time, everyone is trying to break at least one bad habit.

Bad habits sap our confidence, time, and energy and keep us from living our healthiest, most productive, and happiest lives.

Whether you want to eat better, improve teamwork skills, quit smoking, listen more, or something else, we’ve compiled some best practices that will have you breaking bad habits for good.

Before You Start Breaking Your Bad Habits. . .

Monday, September 28, 2015

Make Your Writing Clearer: 6 Tips for Rewording Sentences

The author James Michener said, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” If you’re an aspiring author or someone striving for clarity in your professional or academic writing, you appreciate the methodical march of the rewriting process. Each word in a sentence has a job; cut those that do nothing. These six tips will help you achieve clear and concise writing.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Capitalization After Colons

Capitalization: First Word After a Colon

In British English, the first letter after a colon is capitalized only if it’s a proper noun or an acronym; in American English, the first word after a colon is sometimes capitalized if it begins a complete sentence.

Here are some quick tips for using colons properly:

  • When a colon introduces a list of of things, do not capitalize the first word after the colon unless it is a proper noun.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Make Friday Your Most Productive Day

Is Friday a super productive work day? Or are you starting to wonder why you bother coming in at all? For many of us, getting through the day on Friday (especially the afternoon) can be a real struggle.

Who doesn’t get that #FridayFeeling?

Leaving the Office on a Friday GIF from Scrubs GIFs

After a long week of getting stuff done, we’re just ready for the weekend to begin. Staying focused on work can feel impossible, but indulging in a lighter work day can be guilt-inducing when we expect (or others expect) that we’ll get more work done than we actually do.

Monday, September 21, 2015

What’s the Difference between Less and Fewer?

Why is it so easy to confuse less and fewer? Perhaps because they both represent the opposite of the comparative adjective more. Luckily, the conundrum of less vs. fewer has a solution that is simple to remember. It involves deducing whether fewer or less will be working with a countable or uncountable noun in your intended sentence.

In English, we use the same word, more, for a greater number and a greater amount/quantity.

Friday, September 18, 2015

How One Woman Revolutionized America’s Culinary Landscape with Writing

Words are powerful. They can change minds, start revolutions, and even sell ShamWows. For this reason, writers know they have a huge responsibility — the words they use could potentially change the world.

One woman whose words changed an entire field was food journalist Clementine Paddleford. Her groundbreaking career spanned the 1920s through the 1960s. At the height of her career, 12 million households were reading her column.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs—What’s the Difference?

A verb can be described as transitive or intransitive based on whether it requires an object to express a complete thought or not. A transitive verb is one that only makes sense if it exerts its action on an object. An intransitive verb will make sense without one. Some verbs may be used both ways.

The word transitive often makes people think of transit, which leads to the mistaken assumption that the terms transitive and intransitive are just fancy ways of describing action and nonaction.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

For All Intents and Purposes—How to Use It

  • “For all intents and purposes” means “in effect.”
  • Don’t confuse this expression with the eggcorn “for all intensive purposes.”

If you conduct business, you have probably run across the phrase “for all intents and purposes.” What does this expression mean? Understanding the sense of the words will help you avoid a common but costly mistake.

The Bits and Pieces of Intents and Purposes

The first step is to understand the key elements of the phrase.

Friday, September 11, 2015

How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty (at All!)

No is one of the shortest words in English, but also it’s one of the most difficult to say. The problem isn’t pronunciation. Many people feel guilty when they have to turn down a request—especially one from a friend, colleague, or family member.

How can you decline a request without those pesky feelings of guilt? Let’s look at some scenarios you might face at the workplace. Why is saying no the right thing to do in each situation?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

These 6 Writing Apps Will Make You a Better Writer

We’ve come a long way, writers. Once, improving our writing skills meant writing (and later typing) our drafts, doing our best to revise and proofread, and then subjecting them to an editor’s red pen. Today, we have tools to not only help us create content, but also to organize, proofread, and polish it.

These apps and online tools will help any writer perfect her craft.

Content Creation Tools

Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and other word processors are fantastic tools.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Essential Résumé Template

There are two things you need to keep in mind when you’re creating a résumé. First, you should be aware that a lot of recruiters and employers use special software that searches your résumé for specific keywords. Even when your résumé does get seen by human eyes—and this is the second thing you need to remember—the employer will take only six seconds to make a decision about how good of a fit you might be for the job.

Monday, September 7, 2015

What Is the Deal with Fidget Spinner Toys?

It’s a cross between a ninja throwing star and a spinning top. It’s a useful way to enhance focus, and it’s a huge distraction that has no place in the classroom. What the heck is it about this piece of plastic that’s so darn polarizing?

What is a fidget spinner?

A fidget spinner has three prongs (usually), is small enough to fit in your palm, and spins around a weighted disc at the center.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How Game of Thrones Characters Would Approach a Writing Assignment

Though A Song of Ice and Fire was not written to be a writing guide, there are many valuable lessons in the epic that can be broadly applied to different facets of life.

Spoiler alert

In this post, we will be analyzing characters and their development throughout book five of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and season seven of HBO’s Game of Thrones to understand what lessons certain characters can offer to improve your writing.

10 Ways to Save Time Every Day That Most People Ignore

Would you like more time for family, recreation, and rest? It’s easier than you think to find time to do the things you enjoy most. Let’s talk about ten oft-ignored ways to save time every single day.

1 Keep track of your time.

“What gets measured gets done.” Though experts debate who wrote this old adage, few disagree with its wisdom. By measuring your time, you can evaluate whether you’re spending it wisely.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stationary vs. Stationery—What’s the Difference?

  • Stationary means “fixed,” “immobile,” or “unchanging.”
  • Stationery refers to paper, matching envelopes, and writing implements.

At a glance, stationary and stationery look very much alike. But they couldn’t be further apart in meaning and function. So confusing them—and they’re often confused—is a noticeable mistake.

What Does Stationary Mean?

When something is fixed, immobile, or not subject to change, we can use the adjective stationary to describe it: