The apostrophe is a possessive kind of punctuation mark, but it’s also used in another way. When we leave something out of a word or phrase, the apostrophe marks the place where it was left out. We use this in everyday speech without even thinking about it.
Just as real estate revolves around the old adage, Location! Location! Location!, students, teachers, authors and any writer worth his or her salt lives by a motto as well. Quite simply, audience is everything.
When language-mutilator Yogi Berra said that something was “like ‘deja vu’ all over again,” everybody laughed. Lately I get the feeling that some people who say it don’t know it’s a joke. Yogi’s “belts and suspenders” approach to words seems to be on the increase. We’ve all seen ads that offer “a free gift.” Sometimes … Read more
When two words sound alike (known as homonyms), it ‘s easy to think they mean the same thing. English being what it is, they usually don’t and it’s important to get them right so you say exactly what you mean.
Idiosyncrasy comes from the Greek: idios “one’s own” and sun-krasis “temperament” or “mixture.” Idiosyncrasy is a peculiar habit or characteristic of an individual or group. It can also refer to mental and physical characteristics. Below you will find examples of the usage.
Anyone who’s ever written a short story or taken a freshman composition course has heard the words “show, don’t tell.”
“But it can’t have spelling mistakes! I ran spell check!” I hear this quite often. While running spell check on your documents is very important, it certainly is not a foolproof means of making sure that your documents are error free.
Most people know that the short version of it is is spelled it’s. After all, an apostrophe replaces a missing letter, which in this case is the i in is. And we know how to spell he’s and she’s. So we write, “It’s going to rain,” not “Its going to rain,” unless we’re typing too fast and leave out the apostrophe accidentally.
Whether you are an attorney, a manager, a student or a blogger, writing skills are essential to your success. Even more if we consider the rise of the information age, where people are surrounded by e-mails, wikis, blogs and the like.