The ‘Cross” Family of Words

Cross, a word with a great variety of meanings, is also at the head of an extensive family of words, some of which are listed and defined in this post. Cross made its way into English circuitously from the Latin word crux, with stops in Old Irish and Old Norse. It originally referred to a […]

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50 Synonyms for “Song”

Numerous words that describe various types of musical composition are listed and defined below. (Note that in the definitions below, popular denotes not a musical form that is widely enjoyed, but a song of a type traditionally derived from common people and folk traditions rather than from professional composers. Forms of the word accompany refer […]

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3 Cases of Missing Words and Phrases

In each of the following sentences, the absence of inadvertently omitted words and phrases leads to sentences that, though comprehensible, do not really say what they set out to communicate. Discussion after each example explains the problem, and revisions offer solutions.

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Misuse of Connective Symbols with Numbers

In each of the following sentences, a connective symbol is employed in a reference to numbers or numerical values, but the usage is incorrect. Explanation of the error, and a revision of the error, follows each example.

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40 Words Ending in “-ade”

A number of words share the inflected ending -ade, which denotes an action or something that performs an action or function. The following comprehensive but not exhaustive list includes definitions of forty such words (and the meaning of each root word).

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Grammar Quiz #16: Possessive Adjectives

In the following sentences, choose the possessive adjective that agrees in number with the noun or pronoun to which it refers. 1. Only one of the children picked up ______ certificate. a) his b) their 2. All of the beauty candidates showed ______ best smile. a) her b) their 3. We all expected each contestant […]

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3 Types of Superfluous Use of Semicolons

Proper use of semicolons is sometimes seen as such a challenge that some teachers of composition recommend not using them until one develops a more sophisticated grasp of language, which is akin to saying one should hold off on learning the more complicated letters of the alphabet until one is ready for them. The following examples, however, point out that some writers need to study the functions of the punctuation mark.

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Best Websites to Learn English

Whether you are learning English as a second language or trying to polish your already adequate grammar and style skills, the seven websites below can help.

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A Dozen Nonnumerical Words for Quantities

The English language has, well, a number of words that denote specific or approximate quantities that are themselves not numbers. This post lists and defines a dozen of those words.

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Finding, Founding, and Funding

Find, found, and fund could conceivably be related on the basis of the notion of obtaining something, but the words (except in the case of the link between find and one of three broad senses of found) stem from independent sources. This post defines these words and others derived from them.

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Vocabulary Quiz #10: US Slang

As a result of the popularity of police drama in U.S. entertainment, many words associated with criminal activity have become common in general usage. Edit the sentences below replacing the slang term with the appropriate standard English word.

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