This is my favorite essay on the eccentricities of the English language. The author is Richard Lederer, who wrote Anguished English, Crazy English, Get Thee to a Punnery and other delightful books about language. Enjoy. Let’s face it. English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger, neither apple […]
The (Lost) Art of Proofreading
I am continually amazed at the number of typos and other written errors I find. How could such mistakes happen? It’s easy because we read: The outside shapes of words, not the individual letters Words in phrases, not just individual words Words in context, not isolated from the sentence’s meaning. Specifically, aoccdrnig to rscheearch at […]
View image | gettyimages.com <Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs […]
Use a Hyphen for Clarity
Use a hyphen when you need to connect two or more words together to avoid confusion or ambiguity. One common use is to connect two adjectives that modify one noun (the “compound modifier”). For example, it’s “the third-place runner,” “the last-chance offer” and “the best-selling novel.” In these cases, the two words together describe the […]
Writing Tips: Save the Apostrophe!
I just saw a magazine refer to its “reader’s” and “advertiser’s.” Obviously the editor (who should know better) does not understand the apostrophe at all. The episode reminded me of this article I wrote several years ago about the apostrophe. I hope you find it helpful. Help! Call me old-fashioned, but I believe spelling, grammar and punctuation are […]