A Plumb Interesting Set of Words

When I saw the following passage on the Simon Schuster site, I was plumb surprised: When twelve-year-old Jamie Dexter’s brother […]

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Pronunciation Guides

A reader, wondering about the pronunciation of caricature, asks if I would consider including the phonetic pronunciation of words I […]

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A Lie Is a Lie Is a Lie

A web search for the term “crisis of truth” brings up more than a million hits. Public figures have always […]

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Seep and Steep

The writer of an article in the Washington Post about the funeral arrangements for the late Queen Elizabeth II remarked […]

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Fringes, Fringes Everywhere

Lately I’ve been struck by the frequency with which I encounter the word fringe in the media. I can recall […]

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Career and Careen

A reader asks: Could you clarify whether a car “careens” or “careers” off the road? Are both usable? The original […]

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Punctuating Appositives

A reader requests clarification on the punctuation of appositives: I would like to see a piece on the punctuation of […]

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Honest, Candid, and Frank

I’m always glad to receive topic suggestions from readers. Sometimes I may not quite understand what is wanted, but comments […]

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A Tin Ear for Pronouns

Another of my certainties has been shattered. Like anyone who has tried to explain why we do not say “Jack […]

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