Blog + Tips

Catchy Phrases and their Origin

I recently read a book about the first woman maritime diver and rediscovered a few phrases that, unbeknownst to me, were maritime/nautical terms. We use them daily, but there are interesting origins of their first known printed use. Sometimes, they were included in a ship’s manual or term book. Bitter end – it is the last

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Don’t trust your spell/grammar checker!

Below is a fun little test that contains various types of errors. Click on the “here” link below when you are finished to see the errors. How many did you find? “When Apple Corps launched their first iPhone in 2008, it didn’t dissappoint. In fact, it immediately captured the collective imagination with a geeky allure

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Very, Nice and Sting

What is she thinking? You wonder. I was listening to an interview with the famed singer where the interviewer asks, “What is your favorite word? — and least-favorite word?” Sting didn’t like, “nice.” Overused. Used to describe too many things. This brought me to another word that we could replace – “very.” Used as frequently

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Quotes and Punctuation

You may have noticed when reading printed material, it appears these two topics are areas where people need a little assistance. These are examples using AP style. Punctuation and quotes often appear together. The rule is: Commas and periods are ALWAYS placed inside quotation marks. e.g., “That is correct,” said Bentley. “Commas and periods go

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The Oxford Comma Dilemma

The ‘Oxford comma‘ (aka the serial comma or the Harvard comma) is an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list: We sell books, videos, and magazines. It’s known as the Oxford comma because it was traditionally used by printers, readers, and editors at Oxford University Press. I use it almost every time in a series, unless

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Did I say that?

There are several words in our confusing language that either sound like another word, or we don’t hear it correctly and keep repeating it without knowing if we are using the correct word.  Here are a few: Hone: means to sharpen; it does not mean to home in on or converge.  He honed his computer

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Using the correct word

I am reminded from time to time when I see a tip that it is worth sharing. We Americans can get a bit sloppy when we speak, but it’s always best to write correctly. Run vs. Running scenario: a man skis to his workplace Incorrect:   – I go skiing to get to work. Tip:

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Is it “its” or “it’s?”

This is one of those simple applications of three letters that can cause some people to doubt their writing. You will find it misused in national advertising, television, blogs, and many printed materials.   I once used the following explanation for a woman who was caught up in whether “its” is a pronoun or not.

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Daily Grammar

It appears that language skills have dropped dramatically when younger people (and perhaps some who don’t know better) begin their sentences with, “Me and …..” The first part that is unacceptable is beginning with “Me” as the subject. If you are speaking about someone else and yourself, begin with the other person. e.g. “Bobby and

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