Capitalization of Academic Degrees

Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2009, at 6:16 pm

[Please note: This original post from March 2009 has been updated and replaced by a new version of¬†Capitalization of Academic Degrees, published on January 31, 2018.]¬† Perhaps you've wondered if and when academic degrees (bachelor's, master's, etc.) should be capitalized. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) recommends writing academic degrees in lower case except when …

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Numbers as Adjectives

Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2009, at 4:07 pm

A subscriber recently wrote in with a question that's a good followup to last week's Tip of the Week, Writing Numbers: "When are hyphens used with numbers? Is it 13 feet or 13-feet; 12 hours or 12-hours?" Rule: Generally, hyphenate between two or more adjectives when they come before a noun and act as a …

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Nouns Can Become Verbs

Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009, at 10:11 am

E-Newsletter reader Clifford A. recently wrote: My wife says she texted our daughter. I say, I sent her a text message. Is texted an accepted usage? English allows many nouns to become verbs. We can table a motion, salt our food, and water our plants. Particularly in the realm of developing technology, new usages are …

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Guidelines for Aspiring Writers

Posted on Saturday, February 7, 2009, at 11:42 am

This is a Q & A with Wendy Burt-Thomas, a full-time freelance writer, editor, and copywriter with more than 1,000 published pieces. Her third book, The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters hit stores in December 2008. To learn more about Wendy or her three books, visit Q: Can you tell us about your …

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Definite Ideas About Definite and Indefinite Articles

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009, at 10:13 am

Take a look at this sentence from a restaurant review that was sent in by a reader: The restaurant operates with an efficiency and authority that defy the chaos in the pleasant but cramped room. Is it correct to use the indefinite article an in front of an abstract noun (efficiency)? If so, should we …

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