Category: Idioms

Quality, Service, Value, Needs:
Top Dogs on Our Writing Most-Wanted List

Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 11:00 pm

We began our campaign against worn-out words and phrases in 2017 with three posts on what to weed from our writing (June, July, December). We hope in 2018 you’ve been on guard against those verbal saboteurs that would sneak in to weaken your prose. This year we will also start to call out offenders that …

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Worn-Out Words and Phrases: Resolving to Keep Writing Fresh in 2018

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, at 9:33 am

A new year once again draws near. For us grammarians and careful writers, the last 12 months have been another insightful and adventurous journey through the rules, styles, and techniques that help form concise and expressive American English. Because each new year represents fresh resolve and beginnings, we thought we’d wrap up 2017 with new …

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A Really, Really Awesome List

Posted on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, at 8:16 pm

We wish to thank newsletter reader Dorothy Rosby for permission to use the clever article she developed after reading our recent posts Worn-Out Words and Phrases: 2017 and its Follow-up post. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.   It’s come to my attention that I use the words awesome and amazing far more often than my …

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Striking the Surplus from Tautologies (Follow-Up 2)

Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at 11:09 pm

In response to comments from our readers, last week we revisited our late April newsletter article on tautologies by re-examining vast majority. Today, we’ll conclude our review by looking more closely at two more terms: Contested Tautology #2: Identical Match This noun phrase presents a similar issue to that raised among readers for vast majority. The question lies in whether …

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Striking the Surplus from Tautologies (Follow-Up 1)

Posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, at 11:26 pm

A newsletter article in late April addressed the matter of the tautology (also known as a pleonasm), the “needless repetition of an idea, statement, or word.” We provided several such examples of overweight phrases and suggested how to trim them back into shape. Several readers responded in defense of certain phrases, sharing that what seemed to be a modifier repeating …

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