Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Origins of the Most Popular Slang Words of 2017

Let’s face it—the English-speaking world would be significantly less exciting without slang. How would we have survived 2017 without subtweeting, dragging, or declaring various things “lit?”

Many English words begin their lives as slang. Dictionaries like Merriam-Webster monitor slang closely in order to understand new trends in English, eventually adopting new slang words into the dictionary. (If you’re interested in the ins and outs of this process, you can learn more here.) This year, eight slang words caught our eye.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NBA Grammar Power Rankings

Since we launched our NFL Grammar Power Rankings (followed by MLB and college football), sports fans and journalists alike have urged us: “Do basketball next!” Basketball season has finally arrived, so we put NBA fans to the grammar test.

Who’s shooting bricks and who’s getting nothin’ but net when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation? We began by collecting the first five comments posted under articles on each official SB Nation NBA team blog until we’d gathered a total of 100 comments (of 50 words or more) for each team.

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Turn Your New Year’s Resolutions Into Habits

So you’ve decided to write more. That’s your goal, your resolution.

You’re there; the keyboard is there. Maybe in your head you’re repeating “you can do it, you can do it,” getting pumped for the outpouring of productivity, the astronomical wordcount that will no doubt ensue at any moment now.

Yep, at any second, we’re going to kick into high gear and—Hang on, let’s put on some coffee first.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

7 Reasons to Love the English Language

Isn’t English grand?

Even if English has been called “a bastard tongue” by many, I still love it. Complex, creole, and occasionally confusing, English is a language that has borrowed and stolen some of the best elements of other languages to make something all its own. Who couldn’t love the language that gave us hilarious-sounding words like “wabbit” and “nagware”?

And with 1.5 billion active speakers, it’s also one of the most widely adopted languages in history.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

65 Powerful Words to Take Your Resume to the Next Level

Do you consider yourself a hard worker? A team player? A people person? Whatever you do, don’t tell that to the person reading your resume. Why not? Because if they hear about one more of those, they’re going to tear the resume into itty-bitty shreds.

As good as certain terms might seem, they’ve been on a few billion too many resumes to mean anything to potential bosses. When you’re updating your resume, make your accomplishments stand out by using words that are powerful and descriptive rather than stale and clichéd.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

8 New Movies and Shows That Creatives Must Watch

Creative work can be especially fun and rewarding, but after a long day of writing, designing, composing, crafting, coding, building, imagining . . . it’s good to relax and recharge.

And what better way to kick back than with a movie or show that refuels your creative energy?

We’ve entered a golden age in US television, where creators are forging into new territory and bringing diverse ideas and voices to the forefront.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How Reading Affects Your Brain

As you read these words, your brain is decoding a series of abstract symbols and synthesizing the results into complex ideas. It’s an amazing process. The English writer Katie Oldham described the “surreal” act of reading a book this way: “You stare at marked slices of tree for hours on end, hallucinating vividly.”

And as if it weren’t already strange enough, consider this: If you do enough of it—that is, read a lot—it may not only rewire parts of your brain, but perhaps even make you a nicer person. (Maybe.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Talk Like a Copy Editor and Learn Something New in the Process

If a publisher offers you a kill fee, don’t panic! They’re not asking you to murder anyone. A kill fee is money paid for a piece of writing if they decide to kill it—i.e., not publish it. If you want to make it in the writing industry (and avoid criminal charges), you need to learn the lingo. Let’s start right now.

Basic Writing Jargon

Have you heard of a policeman’s beat? It’s the area he regularly patrols.

Commas After Introductory Phrases

What Is an Introductory Phrase?

An introductory phrase is like a clause, but it doesn’t have its own subject and verb; it relies on the subject and verb in the main clause. It sets the stage for the main part of the sentence. When you use an introductory phrase in your writing, you’re signaling to the reader that the central message of the sentence is yet to come.

Introductory clause: After the meeting was over, the staff was exhausted.

Monday, June 13, 2016

5 Things to Avoid When Writing a Letter of Recommendation

So, you’ve been asked to write a letter of recommendation.

Aside from the immediate awkwardness of having to articulate how we think and feel about another person’s work, figuring out how to write a letter of recommendation often induces anxiety that a poorly written letter will weaken your contact’s chance at success.

Whether you are writing a letter for an employee, co-worker, or student, there are some essential Do’s and Don’ts for how to write an effective letter of recommendation.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Empathy vs. Sympathy

  • Empathy is a term we use for the ability to understand other people’s feelings as if we were having them ourselves.
  • Empathy can also mean projecting our own feeling onto a work of art or another object.
  • Sympathy refers to the ability to take part in someone else’s feelings, mostly by feeling sorrowful about their misfortune.
  • Sympathy can also be used in relation to opinions and taste, like when you say that you have sympathy for a political cause.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Address a Letter: 9 Tips You Should Know

You don’t do this often.

Let’s face it. Putting the date at the top and your signature at the bottom isn’t your jam when it’s time to address a letter. Nor is folding pages into crisp thirds to fit inside an envelope. Formal letters just aren’t your specialty.


As far as new jobs go, the good news is that learning how to address a letter is a lot easier than learning to tie a respectable half-Windsor or mastering the mysterious art of polite breakroom chitchat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to Make a Clear, Assertive Point Over Email

Giving someone a lot of work to do, taking on a new responsibility, asking for leeway, requesting a favor, disagreeing with someone, expressing a strong opinion, or just saying hi after a long radio silence—these topics are tough in conversation, and when you’re trying to broach a difficult subject over email, there can be even more at stake.

Grammarly has put together a guide of best practices for sending emails on difficult topics without coming across as aggressive, demanding, or rude.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Baseball Fans Come Out Swinging in 2016 MLB Grammar Power Rankings

The Boys of Summer are in their glory! Last year, we ranked all thirty Major League Baseball teams by how well their fans write when they’re talking them up or just playing armchair coach online. Our ranking was such a hit that we decided to make it an annual event.

We gathered 3,000 fan comments (of fifteen words or more) posted to each MLB team’s SB Nation blog between June 1 and June 14, 2016.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Quiz: What Kind of Imposter Syndrome Do You Have?

It’s irrelevant that you’ve been working in your field for years; you’re living in fear of being outed as a fraud. A fake. A phony.

It’s imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is the inability to internalize your successes, coupled with the fear of being outed as an unqualified fraud.

This fear of being exposed as inadequate and unqualified literally keeps you from achieving your best professional self.