A cardinal axiom of good writing, “show, don’t tell” reminds authors that language is infinitely more vivid and poignant when it appeals to the senses. Writing that does this has an amnesic effect on readers, ensconcing them so deeply in the story that they forget they’re reading a story at all. Perhaps the most apt tool to cast this spell on readers is figurative language, which employs various devices that imply meaning rather than plainly stating it.
Friday, January 29, 2016
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
You just got back from vacation, and it’s your first day back at work. You’re numb. Everything seems pointless. People say “Happy Monday!” and all you can think is:
If anyone knows how you feel, it’s a pack of llamas. (Or alpacas. We’re using both, because they’re both certified to help you get over post-vacation blues.) Llamas and their alpaca friends have experienced the ups and downs of vacation and its aftermath, and they can truly understand the struggle of getting back to the routine.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Whether or not you put a comma before and depends on how you’re using and. There’s no single rule that applies to all situations. You usually put a comma before and when it’s connecting two independent clauses. It’s almost always optional to put a comma before and in a list.
Comma Before And in Lists
A lot of people have strong feelings about putting a comma before and in a list. Exactly why this particular quirk of comma usage stirs such passions is hard to say; it’s just one of those things.
Friday, January 22, 2016
If only the people you emailed would answer every time. Unfortunately, many of your emails are destined to go unanswered. The average email user receives ninety-two emails per day (seventeen of which are likely to be spam) and opens only about one in three. If you want to make yourself heard in a noisy digital world, being able to write a compelling follow-up email is an essential skill.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
This poll is part of a series that Grammarly is running aimed at better understanding how the public feels about writing, language learning, and grammar.
Please take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments. We can’t wait to hear from you!
If you are interested in more, check out last week’s poll.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Writing a résumé is not that different from writing a sales pitch: the writer is the product and the reader is the potential customer. The résumé has to grab the attention of the prospective employer. It needs to showcase why and how the applicant would be a valuable asset to the employer. In the best case scenario, a well-written résumé prompts the employer to pick up the phone and call the applicant immediately.
Friday, January 15, 2016
A number of poor practices might be nipping away at your business’s productivity—without you even realizing it.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article, poor writing was cited as a major productivity killer. But bad writing isn’t the only thing that can sink your employees’ productivity. Among a bevy of other potential reasons, experts have cited inflexible workplace practices, long hours, sterile office environments, and even emails.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition. When in doubt, try this simple trick: If you can replace the word with “he”’ or “’she,” use who. If you can replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom.
- Who should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence.
- Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.
Who or whom? If you’re like most English speakers, you know that there’s a difference between these pronouns, but you aren’t sure what that difference is.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Capitalize the First Word in a Sentence that Is a Direct Quote
When quoting, the first word of a complete sentence should be capitalized, regardless of its placement within the main sentence.
Since grade school, we’ve learned that capitalization is reserved for the beginnings of sentences, so when we see a capital letter mid-sentence, it can make us feel as though there’s an error.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Making Conversation at the Office
Making conversation at the office can be awkward. Stay all business and you risk coming across as a buttoned-up, stuffy person who doesn’t know how to cut loose. Too nice? You might find yourself taken for granted or even passed over for promotions. And if your conversations are too casual, you may find that you’re not taken seriously. How do you strike the perfect balance when making workday chat?
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
A few years ago, I had to come to terms with my burgeoning habit of browsing housing rental ads on Craigslist for places in the Pacific Northwest. I’d look at the listings and wonder, What would it be like to live in Washington? Wondering soon turned to obsession, and obsession spurred research. Before I knew it, I’d made a decision—I was going to leave my ancestral home in the upper Midwest and trek two thousand miles to live near the shores of Puget Sound.