Thursday, July 28, 2016

Affect vs. Effect

Affect and effect are easy to mix up. Here’s the short version of how to use affect vs. effect. Affect is usually a verb, and it means to impact or change. Effect is usually a noun, an effect is the result of a change. Watch out! There are certain situations and fixed phrases that break the general usage rules for these words.

Now that the basics are out of the way, the time has come to learn the intricacies of how to use affect and effect effectively.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Democratic Primary Candidates Grammar Power Rankings

When we’re online putting our thoughts and ideas into writing, grammar can mean the difference between getting our point across and having it misconstrued. If there’s one place where clear communication is a must, it’s the world of politics.

Ready or not, presidential debate season has begun. Armed with our grammar algorithms and research team, we headed to each 2016 presidential candidate’s official Facebook page to take a lighthearted look at how well their supporters write.

What Is Plain Language? 5 Ways to Overcome Workplace Jargon

If your work consists largely of moving words around on a screen, being understood is essential. At no time is this more evident than when workplace communications fail.

Say your team has been coordinating a crucial media announcement for weeks. You’ve gathered input from scientists and software developers at your company to clarify the details of your message, you’ve run the language past your boss and a company lawyer—you’ve even sat down with an executive to make sure your tone is on brand.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Four Ways to Read More Over the Holidays

Holiday season is fun, but it’s also hectic. You may get a few days off from work or school, but with all the parties, family gatherings, feast cooking, gift shopping, and other celebratory goings-on, there may not be much time left over. What’s a bookworm to do? Get creative, that’s what! Here are four ways to sneak some reading time into even the busiest holiday schedule.

1 Share the Joy

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Comma Splice

  • When you join two independent clauses with a comma and no conjunction, it’s called a comma splice. Some people consider this a type of run-on sentence, while other people think of it as a punctuation error.
  • Here’s an example of a comma splice: Koala bears are not actually bears, they are marsupials.
  • There are three ways to fix a comma splice. You can add a conjunction, change the comma to a semicolon, or make each independent clause its own sentence.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

5 Basic Proofreading Habits for a More Productive 2018

Well, here we are, a new year and a clean slate. That’s great news, particularly if you’re still holding onto some embarrassment about an ill-timed typo or grammar gaffe you may have committed in 2017. Fear not! Things can be different in 2018, especially if you commit yourself to developing these five proofreading habits.

1 Make a list of your personal bugaboos.

What trips you up?

Monday, July 18, 2016

29 Hilarious Halloween Memes and GIFs You’ll Want To Share

Do you live for Halloween?

Whether you’re a fan of kitsch, horror, fabulous style, or coffin-loads of candy, this mischievous and creative holiday has got a spell for you.

In celebration of this hallowed season, we’ve cracked open the crypt and unleashed twenty-nine of the best Halloween memes and GIFs for you to haunt the Internet with your bone-tingling obsession.

1At First You Try to Play It Cool

Per Our Conversation: 5 New Ways to Say This Traditional Phrase

No one wants to be known as the king or queen of boring conversations. One way to prevent tedium is to avoid predictable speech patterns. Are you guilty of overusing “per our conversation?” Grab your listener’s attention with five fresh variations!

If You Want to Give Credit for an Idea

1 As Mentioned When you say “per our conversation,” your listeners understand that a conversation took place.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Articles with Plural Nouns

The indefinite articles a and an are used to modify singular nouns. When using a plural noun, these two articles are unnecessary. Plural nouns can take either a definite article or no article at all.

The definite article is the word the. It precedes a noun when something specific (i.e., definite) is being referred to.

The phone is ringing.

Indefinite articles, on the other hand, are used before nouns that are nonspecific within their class.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Presidential Debate Grammar Power Rankings

Ready or not, the U.S. presidential campaign season is upon us. Whoever your pick for POTUS, one thing’s certain—political topics inspire passionate discussions. With a light heart and heavy-hitting algorithms, we visited each candidate’s official Facebook page and looked at the comments there to see how well their supporters handle themselves when they communicate their ideas in writing.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Are Emojis Language?

Whether you love them or hate them, you have to admit, emojis have taken over. Following the latest update by the Unicode Consortium, the body that dictates language on digital devices, there are now 1,085 officially-recognized emojis in circulation. Five years after their introduction in the United States, emojis have started to dominate messaging and social media apps. Swyft estimates that 6 billion of the emotion pictures are sent in messaging apps every day, and Instagram reports that over half of all Instagram posts include at least one emoji.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

How to Write a Cover Letter: Parts, Process, and Pro Tips

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just testing the job market or eagerly searching for your next gig—knowing how to write a great cover letter is an essential skill. We’ll talk about the whys and hows of cover letters, offer some examples of what to say (and what not to), and provide a few etiquette dos and don’ts. Read on to rev up your job-seeking game!

Why You Should Write a Cover Letter

Hunting for a job is hard.

Question Mark

Without question marks, we’d miss out on all kinds of things: invitations, jokes, the Riddler . . .

No doubt, the question mark is a nice little piece of punctuation. And, best of all, it’s easy to use!

What Is a Question Mark For?

The main purpose of a question mark, perhaps unsurprisingly, is to indicate that a sentence is a question. Direct questions often (but not always) begin with a wh- word (who, what, when, where, why).

Monday, July 4, 2016

13 Mistakes to Avoid at Your Next Networking Event

How good are your networking skills, really? Are you gaining awesome connections at every event, or do you leave with a handful of cards for contacts that never pan out?

As you may have guessed, there’s more to the networking hustle than showing up at an event and hitting the bar. Networking has its own skillset, and you could be ruining your chances at making connections (and securing your next job) without even knowing it.


At first glance, the rules of English capitalization seem simple. You probably know you should capitalize proper nouns and the first word of every sentence. But you also (sometimes) capitalize the first word of a quote. Usually you don’t capitalize after a colon, but there are exceptions. And what do you do when you’re not sure whether something is a proper noun?

English Capitalization Rules:

1 Capitalize the First Word of a Sentence