Category: Effective Writing

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; …

Read More

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 …

Read More

That’s What That Means?

Posted on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at 11:02 pm

I know many avid readers, and I wish I read as much as they do. But to my surprise, very few of them read with a dictionary on hand. When I ask why, the answer is some variation on “It ruins the mood” or “I want to relax, not study” or the most self-deluded one: …

Read More

Striking the Surplus from Tautologies

Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017, at 11:37 am

The English language includes the tools it needs to communicate with beauty, depth, and precision. Like any other healthy entity, it also moves most swiftly without extra weight. In the world of words, flabby noun phrases are known as tautologies. Merriam-Webster online defines a tautology as “1a: needless repetition of an idea, statement, or word.” …

Read More

Lack of Commas Costs Company Millions in Dispute

Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at 8:48 am

The following recent news item hits to the heart of our mission at GrammarBook.com of educating our readers on the importance of communicating clearly through the use of good grammar and punctuation. Even though some of you may have seen or heard about this legal case, we felt strongly about reprinting it in this week’s e-newsletter. …

Read More

1 2 3 4 5 30