September 26, 2016

Compliment and Complement

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If you don't see anything wrong with the sentence "The rug compliments the furniture," this podcast is for you.

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September 19, 2016

Pallette, Palate, Pallet

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Taking just a moment to note the difference between palette, palate, and pallet will save you from a very common mistake.

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September 12, 2016

The Sad Truth About Strunk and White

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The Elements of Style is one of the most beloved language guides of all time, packed with great advice for writers of all levels. The problem is, it's also packed with bad information. And if you can't sift the good from the bad, what use is it? Here are the biggest pitfalls of Strunk and White that, when sidestepped, can let you make the most of the good stuff.

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September 6, 2016

Bring and Take

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Lots of people will tell you that the choice between "bring" and "take" boils down to direction -- whether the item is moving away from the speaker or toward the speaker. But, as with all things in language, it's not quite that simple. Here's an overview to help you choose with confidence.

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August 29, 2016

'He Who Waits' or 'Him Who Waits'?

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Is it "Good things come to he who waits" or "Good things come to him who waits"? And more important, why? Here's what you need to know.

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August 22, 2016

Indexes or Indices?

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Some words follow foreign-language rules for forming plurals. Some don't, even though they're adopted from other languages. Here's a guide to help cut through some of the confusion.

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August 15, 2016

The Media Is or the Media Are?

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There are a lot of old-time prescriptivist guides that will tell you "media" should never be used as a singular. But it would be a mistake to trust them. Here's how to use "media" well.

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August 8, 2016

Peruse This Very Carefully

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People often say things like, "Jane was casually perusing titles at her local bookstore." But that's a secondary definition of peruse. Its main definition means pretty much the opposite of "skim casually." Here's the full story.

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August 1, 2016

'A Variety Is' or 'A Variety Are'?

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What would you think if I said “a variety of new fashions is coming this fall”? Doesn’t sound too good, does it? On the other hand, if I said “the wide variety of apples in this store are astounding,” that wouldn't seem right, either. Here's everything you need to know for when to treat "variety" as a singular or a plural.

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July 25, 2016

Paris Is a Place

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When you write a sentence like "Paris is a place that gets many tourists," you've squandered your main clause on a statement that's already comically obvious: Paris is a place. Here's how to get the most out of every main clause.

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