Category: Effective Writing

Worn-Out Words and Phrases: 2017 (Follow-up)

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017, at 12:15 pm

We enjoy helping you reinforce the way you express yourself with precise grammar and composition. We appreciate just as much when you join meaningful discussions about written language. Our recent GrammarBook article Worn-Out Words and Phrases inspired some great feedback about whether certain terms have outlived their welcome. After reading and considering your thoughtful responses, we determined …

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Worn-Out Words and Phrases: 2017

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at 8:06 am

Words and phrases are powerful tools when used correctly in the right places in a thought or idea. They can also add conversational glue among those tuned in to the buzz of a current milieu. Yet not all words and phrases are meant to last forever. Many serve a fleeting purpose before they lose their …

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Media Watch

Posted on Monday, May 29, 2017, at 2:43 pm

These articles used to be a lot more fun to write, but that was before newspapers and magazines went on life support. Mainly, we do “Media Watch” for the copy editors, those unsung word nerds who make journalists watch what they say and how they say it. When companies struggle, they downsize, so we shudder …

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Word Choice: Small Is Still Better Than Big

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at 4:26 pm

The true size of the English language is often debated and probably impossible to determine. Those who do try to quote the count tend to agree that English includes about 250,000 to 300,000 distinctly usable words. The second edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary (2009) comprises 171,476 words in current use; 47,156 obsolete words; …

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Tightening Verb Phrases for Making an Engine That Purrs

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at 10:11 am

Imagine the English language as a car that can keep its body and performance pristine if driven and maintained correctly. Think of nouns as the wheels that keep it rolling; adjectives as the chassis riding the wheels; adverbs as the paint job (some say the less flashy the better); and all other parts of speech …

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