Composing Comparisons

Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Comparisons in language help us communicate imagery, opinions, proportions, and degrees of condition, excellence, or deficiency. They serve communication as versatile, colorful tools as long as they are clear and complete. If they are not clear or complete, they can quickly fog another's view of our thoughts. Such ambiguity will often result from an omission …

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Ellipses

Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Definition:  An ellipsis (plural: ellipses) is a punctuation mark consisting of three dots. Use an ellipsis when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage. Ellipses save space or remove material that is less relevant. They are useful in getting right to the point without delay or distraction: Although ellipses are used in many ways, …

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Composing with Conjunctive Adverbs

Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Many of us probably use conjunctive adverbs without being aware we’re doing so. Further understanding their role aids our precision with their inclusion in our writing. Conjunctive adverbs are adverbs that connect related main (independent) clauses. They provide a transition between sentences, typically by comparing and contrasting statements or demonstrating cause and effect. They include …

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Play It Again, Sam

Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at 11:00 pm

It has been a while since our last pronunciation column, so here's another group of familiar words whose traditional pronunciations may surprise you. (Note: capital letters denote a stressed syllable.) Antarctica  Like the elusive first r in February, the first c in this word is often carelessly dropped: it's ant-ARC-tica, not ant-AR-tica. Err  Since to err is to make an error, …

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Digging Out Extra Details, Clauses, and Words

Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Writers often walk the fine line of how much information to include in a sentence. What qualifies as too much? We want to include only the details and words that will leave a central point or image clear without slowing the way. Consider the following sentences: On the night of December 25-26, 1776, General George …

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