March 20, 2017

Done vs. Finished

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Remember how when you were through eating you used to say "I'm done" then your mom would swiftly chime in that, "No. You're finished." With apologies to your mom, that's just not so.

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March 13, 2017

Anxious vs. Eager

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Their definitions overlap. But their different connotations can give your writing more power.

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March 6, 2017

What Does Biweekly Mean? How About Bimonthly?

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We often use "biweekly" to mean once every two weeks, but "bimonthly" often means twice a month? Here's a look at the most confusing prefix in the English language.

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February 27, 2017

Flyer vs. Flier

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When do you use "flier" and when is "flyer" the correct choice? The answer's a bit up in the air. #PunShame

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February 20, 2017

Trooper vs. Trouper

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A quick reminder to keep these two words straight.

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February 13, 2017

'But' at the Beginning of a Sentence

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In the never-ending stream of grammar superstitions floating around out there, here's one of the most outrageous: You can't begin a sentence with "but." That's pure nonsense.

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February 6, 2017

Immigrate, Emigrate, Migrate

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In professional editing, emigrate, immigrate and migrate aren't exactly interchangeable.

One who leaves a country emigrates from it. One who comes into a country immigrates. — The Associated Press Stylebook

 

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January 30, 2017

'One of the Only'

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Some people insist that "one of the only" is wrong because it's the logical equivalent of "one of the one." The criticism is worth thinking about, but, as usual, pedants overstate their case.

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January 23, 2017

Is There an Apostrophe in Presidents Day?

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Presidents Day is Feb. 20 this year.

If you're writing about it: AP Style says don't use an apostrophe in Presidents Day. For writers and editors using the Chicago Manual of Style, it's plural possessive: Presidents' Day. Here's a closer look.

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January 16, 2017

Is There a Wrong Way to Use 'Decimate'?

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Roman generals who needed to punish their own troops would kill a random one out of ten — the origin of the word "decimate." So can you use it to mean "completely annihilate"? That's debatable.

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