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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January 9, 2017

I Appreciate You/Your Taking the Time?

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Would you say "I appreciate him taking the time to meet with me" or "I appreciate his taking the time"? Spoiler alert: They're both acceptable. But only one is stickler-approved. And the grammar behind their reasoning is interesting to just about any word nerd.

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January 2, 2017

Awhile vs. A While

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A while can be used anywhere you'd use awhile, but it doesn't work the other way around. It's an error to say "I'll see you in awhile." The reason: awhile is an adverb and a while is a noun phrase, and only a noun phrase can be the object of a preposition like "in." Here's a full explanation.

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December 26, 2016

Can 'Impact' Be a Verb?

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A lot of people cringe when they hear "impact" used as a verb. It should be a noun, they say. Are they right? In a word: no.

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December 19, 2016

'Sneak Peak'

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Could this be the most common mistake of all time?

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