Words That Include “Dur”

If a word begins with or includes the element dur, it’s likely to be part of the word family derived from the Latin verb durare, meaning “harden” or “last.” This post defines the members of this family.

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What “Mean” Means

The verb mean, in the senses of “destine” “direct,” “intend,” and “signify,” is from the Old English phrase mae nan. To say that someone “means business” signifies that he or she is earnestly serious about something; to say that someone “means well” means that the person has good intentions. (One is said to be well-meaning when his or her intentions are good; the person’s actions are said to be well-meant.)

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Start a Freelance Writing Career in 2017

Every year more and more businesses discover the potential of the Internet, websites and social networks to generate leads, customers and sales. Every website or social media account needs fresh content, however, and that is why the demand for freelance writers keeps growing.

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Use of the Apostrophe in Possessive Constructions

This post outlines the prevailing rules and recommendations for employing apostrophes when using the possessive form of a noun and discusses in which cases an s should follow the apostrophe.

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Words Ending in “-ly” Aren’t Always Adverbs

Ask anyone to name a distinguishing characteristic of an adverb, and the reply might be that such a word ends with -ly. Although that is often true, some adverbs, such as fast, lack the ending. For this reason, they are known as flat adverbs. In addition, many words ending in -ly aren’t adverbs.

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Avert vs. Avoid

What’s the difference between avert and avoid? They share a primary meaning (with a subtle but significant distinction) but despite their structural similarity are etymologically unrelated. This post discusses their senses and origins and those of similar-looking synonyms.

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3 Sentences with Hyphenation Problems

In each of the following sentences, one or more hyphens is missing from a phrasal adjective, but another solution is available: A relaxation of the syntax is recommended, as explained following each example and demonstrated in a subsequent revision.

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5 Cases of Awkward Appositives

In each of the sentences below, a writer has referenced a person, place, or thing with an appositive, a word or phrase equivalent to another word or phrase, but erroneous punctuation or syntax introduces a flaw in sentence construction. The discussion following each example explains the problem, and a revision illustrates its resolution.

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3 More Cases of Superfluous Semicolons

Some writers avoid semicolons either because they are not certain of the punctuation mark’s functions or because some people consider it stodgy, or both. It is in fact quite simple and practical to use, but beware of employing one when a comma will do just as well, as in the following examples, each followed by a discussion and a revision.

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