July 28, 2014

Modal Auxiliaries

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled lineup of grammar myth-busting and other lighthearted stuff to bring you some hardcore grammar. "Can," "could," "may," "might," and some other verbs are called modal auxiliaries and have some interesting properties you may have never noticed. Here's more ...

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July 14, 2014

'Have Got'

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Those two little words, when used together, can cause a lot of trouble. Here's what you need to know to avoid it. (Spoiler: The anti-"have got" cops don't quite get it.)

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July 7, 2014

How to Write People's Titles

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The President or the president? General Manager Susan Brady or general manager Susan Brady? Capt. John Miller or captain John Miller? Here are some guidelines to help you decide.

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June 30, 2014

Who, What, When, Where, Why

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Proper grammar, usage and punctuation are all well and good. But content is even more important than form.

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June 23, 2014

Spacing After Punctuation

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Use just one space between sentences and a full space on either side of an ellipsis. Dashes take a space on either side in AP style but no spaces in Chicago style. And initials, like W. E. B. Dubois take no spaces in AP but do take spaces in Chicago. Here are the details plus a few exceptions ...

 

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June 16, 2014

Rob vs. Burglarize

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If you're in law enforcement, by all means treat these as separate words. But self-appointed grammar cops don't have the same authority.

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June 9, 2014

Done and Finished

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Sure, you're finished with that meal. But are  you also done with it?

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June 2, 2014

'Than I' vs. 'Than Me'

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To make the best choice between "than I" and "than me," you need to know a little about conjunctions and clauses. Once you do, you'll understand that "than I" is more grammatical,  but "than me" is okay, too.

 

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May 26, 2014

Transitions

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How do you ensure one sentence flows logically from the one before? Here are some tips.

 

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May 19, 2014

When Spell-checker Helps ... And When It Doesn't

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Sometimes, your word-processing software is a life-saver. Other times, it can actually trip you up. Here are some ways to get the most of out it.

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