Email vs. E-mail

Once upon a time, one could speak or write about such media as books and mail, or use such terms as business and commerce, and your audience would immediately understand what you were referring to. But then, toward the end of the twentieth century, came a revolution in how humans conduct social behavior, academic pursuits, and business transactions—activities now often mediated through an electronic device.

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5 Types of Unnecessary Hyphenation

The sentences below, each followed by a discussion and a revision, illustrate various ways in which a hyphen is used extraneously.

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5 Types of Conditionals

When crafting “If (this), then (that)” statements, note that several varieties exist, distinguished by tense and probability. This post describes, with examples, various types of conditional statements.

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The Ol’ “Olde” Gets Old

Writers’ efforts to evoke a folksy or quaint sensibility by using a variation on the word old often fail because they use the wrong form. This post discusses the proper use of the variations.

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More Words Derived from “Pend”

A previous post lists words stemming from the Latin verb pendere, meaning “weigh,” and containing the root pend. This follow-up adds disguised words that have the same derivation.

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Grammar Quiz #6: Dangling Modifiers

Each of the following sentences includes a dangling modifier, a phrase that provides additional information but, because of its erroneous placement, confuses readers about what it is modifying; revise the sentences as necessary.

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3 Cases Where One Word Makes a Difference

Often, the presence or absence of one word, or its location, can change the meaning of a sentence, or at the least affect the statement’s clarity. In each of the following sentences, inserting, omitting, or moving a word, respectively, improves its readability. Discussion and revision explain and demonstrate this improvement in each case.

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7 Types of Punctuation Errors

Each of the following sentences below demonstrates a specific type of error involving internal punctuation, usually involving a problem with a comma. Discussion and revision following each example explains and illustrates correct use of punctuation in the sentence.

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3 Cases of Superfluous Semicolons

Semicolons serve one of two purposes: A semicolon can act as a weak period to separate two independent clauses so closely associated that dividing them into distinct sentences might seem excessive, or it can function as a supercomma in a sentence consisting of a list in which one or more items ordinarily separated by commas themselves include commas. Sometimes, however, employment of a semicolon in one of these roles seems to be merited but is not. The following examples, each followed by a discussion and a revision, illustrate such unnecessary usage.

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Valleys and Gullies

A variety of words serve to describe geographical features characterized by low-lying terrain between higher elevations of land. This post lists and defines many of these terms.

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