Thursday, December 31, 2015

Affective vs. Effective: What’s the Difference?

Is affective just another word for effective? Are the two words similar and entangled in the way the verbs affect and effect are? No, affective is not just another word for effective. And affective and effective are not derived from the verbs affect and effect. They come from the nouns affect and effect.

Affective is usually used in the field of psychology and addresses emotions and feelings.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Capitalization: The Days Of The Week and The Months

Capitalization: The Days of the Week, the Months of the Year, and Holidays (But Not the Seasons Used Generally)

Days, months, and holidays are always capitalized as these are proper nouns. Seasons aren’t generally capitalized unless they’re personified.

The maid comes on Tuesdays and Fridays.
My doctor’s appointment is on Monday afternoon.
Your birthday is in March, right?

14 Business Jargon Phrases People Love To Hate

When humans aggregate into groups, we tend to develop new lexicons specific to our group context. Wizards complain about “muggles,” high schoolers aspire to “squad goals”—and occasionally a mid-level manager stares fervently into your eyes and tells you it’s time to “shift the paradigm.”

In recent years business jargon has somehow evolved into a tangled mess of annoying, pretentious, tired clichés that are more effective at obscuring than clarifying meaning.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Discrete vs. Discreet: What’s the Difference?

  • Discreet and discrete are homophones. They sound the same but they have different definitions.
  • Discreet means careful or intentionally unobtrusive.
  • Discrete means distinct or unconnected.

Homophones are nothing but trouble. They often top the lists of commonly confused words and spelling mistakes. There’s no way of knowing what they mean unless you hear them in context or see them in writing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

3 Things You Should Do When Speed Proofreading

We’ve all been there—mortified by the consequences of our own lack of care. Catching typos after you’ve hit send can limit your personal and professional opportunities at worst or be just plain annoying at best. You know that you should proofread but don’t because it requires an English degree (right?) and is time-consuming (right?). Actually, almost anyone can quickly and easily reduce (dare we say eliminate?) post-send mortifications by following these three proofreading tricks.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

4 Reasons You Should Form a Proofreading Habit

Even rats have habits. MIT professor Ann Graybiel trained rats to run a T-shaped maze. First, Graybiel’s team rewarded the rats for turning right or left based on a tone. Even after the researchers stopped giving treats, they found that the rats still responded to the sounds as if by habit. The human brain forms habits too, so why not make them rewarding ones? Here are four reasons why proofreading should be a habit you pursue.

How to Best Prioritize Your Work Tasks

When the first task lands on your desk, you think: “No problem, I can handle it.” The second and third requests cause a little self-doubt. Soon, you don’t even know how many projects you have on your to-do list.

Does this scenario sound familiar? How can you cope when the projects pile up and the time is short? Learn today how to prioritize your work assignments efficiently and keep your cool.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How to Use the Passive Voice Correctly

The passive voice is a misunderstood entity in the world of writing. It is unfairly judged by many authors. Some writers, without taking the time to get to know this grammatical structure, avoid it at all costs. Others use it ineffectively because they do not understand how it works. How can you get to know this mysterious literary device?

First, let’s start with an explanation of what passive voice is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What Are the Best Ways to Deal with Difficult People?

Difficult people can quickly turn your dream job into a nightmare if you let them. However, your happiness and productivity are worth the fight. Let’s consider the best ways to deal with challenging personalities.

Start with Yourself

In “Man in the Mirror,” a song recorded by Michael Jackson, the lyrics provide an effective formula for improving your environment: “Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.” Self-examination might reveal that you are overreacting to a situation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Main Verbs: Definition and Examples

The main verb is also called the lexical verb or the principal verb. This term refers to the important verb in the sentence, the one that typically shows the action or state of being of the subject. Main verbs can stand alone, or they can be used with a helping verb, also called an auxiliary verb.

Helping verbs do just what they sound like they do—they help! Different helping verbs help or support the main verb in different ways.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Motivation Hack: Get Your Mind Right

When you picture someone meditating, what do you see? A yoga class? A person of South Asian descent in a religious context? A random businessperson in a stock photo?

Messages about mindfulness have been muddled, messy, and largely unhelpful since its rise to popularity. In the last few years, mindfulness has moved from hippie-and-yogi buzzword to bonified productivity skill lauded by the likes of The Harvard Business Review and Tim Ferriss.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Importance of Proofreading Your Résumé

Did you know that recruiters only spend an average of six seconds reviewing your résumé? You have a very small window in which to wow them, and in this competitive job market, even the smallest mistake can be enough to knock you out of the running. There are three main aspects of proofreading: spelling, grammar, and consistency. We’ll look at each of those below, but first, some sobering statistics about how many errors we found in a sampling of résumés.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Commas in Complex Sentences

Complex sentences are sentences that have two clauses. There can be two independent clauses (each having a subject and predicate), or an independent clause and dependent clause (missing a subject or predicate). Whether a comma is used between them depends on the types and positions of the clauses.

An independent clause is a clause that can stand on its own as a sentence.

I have a cat.

Monday, December 7, 2015

That Emoji Might Not Be Saying What You Think

This morning, my guy texted me:

And I texted back:

He said, “Good morning! It’s a beautiful day. Love you!”

And I wrote back, “Good morning! I’ve got a song in my heart. Mwah! Love you, too.”

The texter and I are close. We know each other, so our emoji-only conversation made sense to us. The message is unambiguous enough that even an outside observer might have interpreted it similarly.

Friday, December 4, 2015

How Lin-Manuel Miranda Gets Things Done

One look at composer-performer Lin-Manuel Miranda’s list of accomplishments and you’ve got to wonder how he does it all.

His first musical, In the Heights, which he wrote and starred in, won four Tony Awards. He’s acted in TV shows, appeared on SNL, and was recently awarded the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Grant. He wrote the songs for Disney’s animated “Moana,” whose hit song “How Far I’ll Go” was nominated for the 2017 Oscar for Best Original Song.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What makes up a grammar lover? We studied our Grammarly community and here’s what we found.

Recently, the Grammarly community grew to over 7 million language-loving friends — more than 5 million can be found on Facebook. We have enjoyed sharing our love of language and writing with the world. In honor of the growth of such a passionate and fun community, we surveyed our fans to find out more about what makes a grammar nerd!

Here’s what we found:

What kind of grammar lover are you?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Why Is the Oxford Comma a Heated Debate in 2017?

If you stare awhile at the string of characters that a sentence comprises, the squiggles lose all meaning. That humans somehow manage to agree on the use of these symbols well enough to communicate at all can seem miraculous.

But what about when we don’t quite agree—when it seems a writer has added a superfluous, bafflingly out-of-place comma, perhaps, or inexplicably used the wrong pronoun?