3 More Sentences Lacking One Word to Be Correct

Often, when readers stumble on a faultily constructed sentence, the obstacle is merely one seemingly inconsequential word—or, more accurately, the omission of what is actually an essential component of the sentence. In each example below, one missing word throws off the sentence. Discussion and a revision point the way to a coherent statement.

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Probes and Probabilities

The Latin noun probus, meaning “virtuous” or “worthy,” is the ultimate source of probe and probability and their variants, which are listed and defined in this post.

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The Word of the Year for 2016

Each year, several major lexicographers release their word of the year—the term that, among the most frequently looked-up words during the previous twelve months, has most prominently captured the zeitgeist. This post discusses the 2016 selections.

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3 Errors in Using Parentheses

Parenthetical marks can cause difficulties for writers—and, as a result, for readers. In each of the following examples, parentheses are misused; discussion and revision of each sentence follow.

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Punctuation Quiz #9: Ellipsis

All but one of the following sentences demonstrate incorrect use of ellipses according to The Chicago Manual of Style and most other style guides; revise the sentence as necessary.

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Intrusive Misuse of Colons

Writers often mistakenly introduce intrusive “colonization” where it is not necessarily. In each of the following examples, as explained in the discussion, the colon is superfluous.

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Does the Bogeyman Boogie?

Despite the fact that the first two syllables of bogeyman are pronounced just like boogie, the antics of bogeymen, vaguely defined imaginary beings conjured to threaten misbehaving children—as far as can be ascertained—do not include dancing, and the words are apparently unrelated.

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The Many Cognates of “Cede”

The word cede and words with the syllable -cede share an origin with other similarly spelled words that in some sense refer to withdrawal. This post lists and defines those terms.

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Grammar Quiz #3: Weak-Period Semicolons

All but one of the following sentences incorrectly employs or omits a semicolon; revise sentences as necessary to demonstrate correct use of punctuation.

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5 Cases of Insufficient Punctuation

In each of the sentences below, the omission of one comma (two commas, in one case) obscures the intended meaning. Discussion and revision following each example provides clarity.

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