Good Things Come to ...
Posted by June on September 26, 2016
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Do good things come to he who waits? Or do good things come to him who waits? Ask a thousand people and you'll get somewhere between 999 and 1,000 bewildered looks.

It's a tough question. You need not one but two grammar concepts under your belt to figure out the answer. You need to know about prepositions. You also need a solid understanding of relative pronouns.

Here's a recent column explaining everything you need to know.

An Easy Fix for a Faulty Parallel
Posted by June on September 19, 2016


Sometimes, fixing a faulty parallel is as easy as adding the word "and." The hard part is spotting the error in the first place. Here's a recent column about one I caught and how I fixed it.

Writing Is Hard. Editing Is Harder.
Posted by June on September 12, 2016


"You will be charged with taking what is defective and rendering it merely mediocre," Baltimore Sun copy editor John McIntyre warns his editing students, "That is pretty much the most that editing can ever accomplish."

Just one of the nuggets  of wisdom the “Old Editor” shares in this charming video.

Adjective Order Goes Viral
Posted by June on September 6, 2016


If you're down with a lot of wordy types on the web, there's a good chance that in the last few days you've seen an excerpt from a book called "The Elements of Eloquence" by Mark Forsyth. It says, "Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”

There's one word in this passage that makes the whole thing dead wrong. That word is "absolutely." The proof is in this assessment of Forsyth's assertion: That's one big, beautiful overstatement.