August 8, 2022

Who, What, When, Where, Why, How

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When you're writing, don't spend so much time sweating the little stuff that you forget about the big stuff. Here's how to anticipate what your reader wants to know.

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August 1, 2022

Why You Shouldn't Hyphenate -ly Adverbs

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You can hyphenate two words that modify another, like a loose-knit group, if it aids understanding. But don't do it with an ly adverb, like a loosely defined term. The reason: The ly clearly shows the relationship between the words.

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July 25, 2022

When to Use 'Anymore' and 'Any More'

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Instinct goes a long way in helping you decide how to choose between these words.

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July 18, 2022

Are Sentence Fragments a Problem?

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To be complete, a sentence requires at least a subject and a verb. So how bad is it when it doesn't?

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July 11, 2022

Are Team Names Plural or Singular?

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Sometimes you see plural verbs with team names: “the Miami Heat are.” Other times they're singular: “the Miami Heat is.” Which is right? They both are.

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July 4, 2022

Churchgoer, Concertgoer, Park Goer?

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Churchgoer and concertgoer are in the dictionary, which puts to rest any questions of whether they should be one word, two words or hyphenated. But what if you want to write about someone who goes to the park or the mall or the track? Dictionaries don't list goer as a suffix, which means it's not a good idea to attach it to any word you like. Here's what you need to know about using goer.

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June 27, 2022

The Peculiar Power of 'Every'

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The word "every" has an unusual property: Add it to a some sentences that require a plural verb, like "The dog and cat are in the yard," and suddenly you need the singular verb: "Every dog and cat is in the yard." Here's the whole story.

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June 20, 2022

How to Write Academic Degrees

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PhD or Ph.D.? Master's or masters? Here's how to write academic degrees.

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June 13, 2022

Do You Know About Dummy Operators?

Sometimes when we form questions, a word appears out of nowhere: the word “do.” Grammarians call it a dummy operator. Here's what you need to know.

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June 6, 2022

Upside Down Subordination

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When you accidentally emphasize the wrong information in your sentence, your message can fall flat. Here's how subordinating conjunctions can put your reader's attention right where you want it.

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