Monday, February 29, 2016

Three Ways to Avoid Sounding Like a Jerk on Slack

Some types of jerk behavior are obvious. Calling names. Laughing at someone’s ideas. Stealing a coworker’s lunch out of the office refrigerator (come on, are you an animal?).

But it’s also possible to be a jerk by accident, especially in writing. Have you ever found yourself worrying that your two-sentence email will sound cold to the person on the other end? Or are you just now realizing that’s something you should worry about? (You should—warmth may be even more important than competence when it comes to establishing business relationships.)

Friday, February 26, 2016

The 10 Commandments of Grammar Lovers

Grammar gets a bad rap even without the help of the vigilantes who use it to take the moral high ground. So when a few haters decide to reduce learners, those who make grammatical mistakes, and even old-school grammar pedants to lifeless sea scum, it doesn’t do grammar any favors. It only means true and noble grammarians need to work harder to destigmatize the institution. So, if you truly adore the conventions that structure and shed light on the English language, give some thought to what we think are the guiding principles to a society where everyone understands each other easily and clearly.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Uses for Old Words

Like an unkeyboardinated tween, you can count on language for boundless creativity – and a seeming randomness that’s hard to keep up with.

We’re constantly adding new words and devising new forms and quirky mashups of old ones. But whether you’re squishing two existing words together to create a new one, or perhaps repurposing a familiar pronoun to be more inclusive, many of the ways we tinker with language follow a few well-worn patterns.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Can you spot the gerund in the sentence “Learning about gerunds is fun”? No, the answer isn’t gerunds. It’s learning.

What Is a Gerund, Anyway?

To understand gerunds, (pronounced JER-undz, by the way) it helps to understand the difference between a word’s grammatical form and its grammatical function in a sentence.

Take the word dancing. Dancing is the present participle of the verb to dance.

Friday, February 19, 2016

This Is How to Evaluate a Future Employer in a Job Interview

Do you have an interview coming up? You are probably preparing for it all wrong! Typical job candidates spend most of their time rehearsing answers. Instead, they should be looking for ways to evaluate their potential employer. Here’s how to use your job interview to find out if a job is right for you.

Why You Should Evaluate Potential Employers

Harvard Business Review reported that, on average, workers change jobs once every three or four years.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

4 Memorable Quotes from Larry David That Will Make You Think

Comedy lovers rejoice! After a six-year hiatus, Larry David’s acclaimed comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm is returning to HBO on October 1 for its much-anticipated ninth season.

Not familiar with the irascible Larry David? Larry got his start doing stand-up in the 1970s and was briefly a writer for SNL. But he’s best known as the true genius (and head writer and executive producer) behind the beloved ’90s sitcom Seinfeld, one of the most successful shows of all time.

Monday, February 15, 2016

10 Simple Errors People Make During a Job Search

Would you like some good news about errors? The simplest mistakes to make are the easiest to correct. If you’re having a frustrating job search, it’s probably because you’re making these ten simple job search mistakes.

1 Failing to Make a Strong First Impression

Never forget that while you are searching for the perfect job, employers are searching for the ideal employee. If your resume doesn’t stand out, you’ll never get an interview.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Why Do We Say ’Tis the Season?

If you’ve seen the classic holiday movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, then you’ll probably remember this scene. Family man Clark Griswold stands at the lingerie counter of a large department store chatting up the pretty sales girl. After bumbling through the conversation and making a fool of himself, he smiles and says, “‘Tis the season to be merry!”

But where did ’tis the season, a phrase we use during the festive build-up to the end-of-year holidays, originate?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Active vs. Passive Voice—What Are They and How Do I Use Them?

Active voice means that a sentence has a subject that acts upon its verb. Passive voice means that a subject is a recipient of a verb’s action. You may have learned that the passive voice is weak and incorrect, but it isn’t that simple. When used correctly and in moderation, the passive voice is fine.

In English grammar, verbs have five properties: voice, mood, tense, person, and number; here, we are concerned with voice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Everything You Need to Know on How to Write a Reference Letter

You’ve been asked to write a reference letter—nice! Being asked likely means you’ve come far enough in your career that your endorsement is meaningful. At the very least, it means that someone you know personally values your opinion of them.

Reference letters are a staple of modern communications. At some time or another, almost everybody needs one for things like job applications, internships, college or grad school applications, or even volunteer opportunities.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Regards, Best Regards, In Regard To—How to Use Them

Should you write regards to close your next letter or email? What does it mean to send your regards, anyway?

When to End a Letter with “Regards”

Historically, with best regards and with kindest regards have been used as a letter closing—a.k.a. a valediction. In decades past, regards implied not only esteem but also affection; today it sits somewhat higher on the spectrum of formality.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Laying vs. Lying (Lay vs. Lie)–What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between lay and lie?

You lie down, but you lay something down. Lie does not require a direct object. Lay requires a direct object. The same rule applies to laying and lying (not lieing—beware of spelling). The past tense of lay is laid, but be careful with the past tense of lie—there are two options. We’ll dive into them later.

When to Use Lay

To lay is to set (or otherwise place) something in a resting position.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If You Work From Home, Here’s How to Be Successful

Working from home seems ideal. No need to get dressed and polished for the day, no commute, and no distracting coworkers to face—what’s not to like? But working remotely isn’t as easy as it looks.

The undisputed champion of small talk topics revolves around one question: What do you do for a living? I tell people I’m a writer and that, although I’m technically a freelancer, I have a steady gig with Grammarly. (That insight sometimes evokes the exclamation “Oh em gee!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Which common writing error is the worst?

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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

How to Use Keywords to Make a Resume Recruiters Notice

Do you tailor your resume to match the job you’re applying for? There are some compelling reasons that you should. You already tailor other things you write to a specific audience, (e.g., emails, term papers, brochures). Why should your resume be any different?

Tips for Writing a Great Resume

Here are a few simple tips on how to write a resume and tailor it to a job description.