June 1, 2020

Errant Apostrophes in Plurals

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Two taco's for $1!

We enjoyed meeting the Miceli's!

Try the pancake's!

Apostrophes used wrongly to form plurals are everywhere. Here's how to avoid this mistake.

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May 25, 2020

James' job or James's job?

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The boss's hat or the boss' hat?

James' job or James's job?

Making possessives out of words that end in s is tricky and complicated by the fact that major editing styles disagree on the rules. Here's what you need to know.

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May 18, 2020

It's, Let's, Who's, They're

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Anyone can mess up using its and it'slets and let'swhose and who's, and their and they're — even if you know better. Here's a quick reminder.

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May 11, 2020

Compose and Comprise

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The difference between compose and comprise isn't important to everyone. If you're not worried what discerning readers will think of your prose, then there's no need to note that they're adamant comprise doesn't go with of. Per the strict view, you can say something is composed of its parts, but you can't say it's comprised of its parts. Here's the full story.

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May 4, 2020

None Is vs. None Are

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Of all the applicants, none is as qualified as you.

Of all the applicants, none are as qualified as you.

Some people feel strongly that none is singular because it means no one or not one. And if it were exclusively singular, the singular verb is would be the only correct choice. But in fact, both forms can be correct. Here's the full story.

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April 27, 2020

Affect and Effect

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Most of the time, it's easy to remember affect is a verb and effect is a noun. But in rare cases, those roles can switch. Here's what you need to know.

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April 20, 2020

May and Might

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May and might can often be used interchangeably. But subtle differences between the two plus some strong stickler opinions on the subject mean it's a good idea to choose carefully. Here's what you need to know.

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April 13, 2020

'Between You and I'

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If you want to say "between you and I," you can. But if you want to say it because you believe "between you and me" is ungrammatical or otherwise inferior, you're operating on bad information. Here's a quick overview of the grammar and why "between you and I" is probably the term you want.

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April 6, 2020

John and I vs. John and Me

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"Thank you for spending the holiday with John and I." You hear this a lot from people who are trying to use proper English. But their efforts are backfiring. The more grammatical form, in this case, would be John and me. Here's everything you need to know.

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March 30, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About the Serial Comma

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The serial comma, also called the Oxford comma, is the comma before the "and" in a series, as in "red, white, and blue." Some writers are very, very devoted to it. But it's optional. Here's how to decide whether it's for you.

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