Showing posts with label the english language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the english language. Show all posts

Thursday, April 13, 2017


What Is a Semicolon?

Semicolons (;) are as basic as a period stacked on top of a comma. Does that mean you can use it like either one? Don’t get your hopes up. But don’t let this punctuation mark get you down, either. After all, that sly emoticon winky eye can’t be all bad. 😉

How to Use a Semicolon Correctly

The most common use of the semicolon is to join two independent clauses without using a conjunction like and.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Advisor vs. Adviser

  • Adviser is a person who gives advice.
  • An advisor does the same thing—the only difference is in the spelling.
  • Adviser is the older and the preferred spelling.

Advisor vs. adviser is probably not the most important or the most annoying conundrum related to the verb advise. That honor goes to advise vs. advice because mixing them up is a more damaging mistake. But still, people wonder about advisor and adviser because we don’t have two different spellings for every word in the English language—it’s not common.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Historic vs. Historical—Which Should I Use?

  • Historic describes something momentous or important in history.
  • Historical simply describes something that belongs to an earlier period of history.

Historic and historical are two adjectives that have very similar meanings; so similar that it’s no wonder they are often confused. Still, they are not simply two spellings for the same word, so you should know when to use which.

When to Use Historic

Historic is an adjective that comes in handy when we speak about people, places, or events that existed or happened in the past.

Monday, August 25, 2014

All the Wondrous Ways We Express Wonder in English

As we get nearer to the end of December, we are reminded of why it’s called the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the season of holidays, with Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Mawlid usually celebrated within a month of one another. And then there’s the New Year, a great opportunity to commit ourselves to plans and resolutions we’ll never actually make good on. This time of year is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of some of the words we have at our disposal to express all the wonder that’s going on.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?

It’s that time of year again. The days grow longer and the sunshine is determined to scorch. The parks fill up with children while picnics spread out in red and white gingham patches. The dog begs to go outside as we put away our heavy coats, hanging them neatly in closets. Long pants give way to shorts as coconut-scented oils fill the air with their perfume. It’s summer.

What phrases and books best evoke those fiery months?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Favorite Words in the English Language

Whether you are a logophile (word lover) or not, you probably can think of one or two words that you really enjoy using. These words don’t have to be rare or exotic. In fact, sometimes it’s far better if they aren’t. Some of my personal favorites are demure, frank, and stalwart. Why are they my favorites? Well, besides being fun to say, they are concrete and clear.

I’ve decided to run a poll on our Facebook page seeking out the top five favorite words in the English language.

Monday, October 29, 2012

You’ll Never Guess the Origins of These 3 Bizarrely Spelled English Words

English is linguistically categorized as a West Germanic language. Though it is now the most widely spoken language in the world, English actually got a pretty small start.

In the fifth century, many related Germanic dialects fused together, collectively becoming what is now known as Old English. These dialects were brought to the eastern coast of England by Germanic settlers and eventually gained a stronghold in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England in what is now southeast Scotland.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lies Your English Teacher Taught You: Prepositions

Guest post from Brent Calderwood

Writing is like painting. You have to know the rules before you can start experimenting with them. Think about it: Picasso had to paint a lot of pictures of horses with four legs before he started putting noses on people’s foreheads. It’s the same way with words. Good authors are playful and innovative with the English language, but they had to learn the basics first.