Useful Stock Phrases for Your Business Emails

When I wrote a post on email etiquette, one reader, Juan, left a comment to ask for some advice (I’ve changed his punctuation a bit for clarity’s sake): I just discovered your page and I love it. Please teach me before we sign off the mail with “warm regards” etc ,we also always using some … Read more

Word of the Day: Apocalypse

Apocalypse [ə-pŏk’ə-lĭps’], with the definite article, means “the end of the world.” Apocalyptic writings–prophecies of the end of the world couched in symbolic language–were a popular genre with Jewish and early Christian writers between 200 B.C.E. and C.E. 150. The best known is the Revelation of St. John in the Christian New Testament. “Apocalyptic [themes] … Read more

When the Review Tops the Book

Some time ago one of our readers sent me a link to a brilliantly written book review, interestingly enough about a shockingly bad book. The person who wrote the review is called Charles Moore. Here is a quote from it: That pretty much sums up my experience reading Aaron Rayburn’s novel, THE SHADOW GOD. I … Read more

English Grammar 101: Verb Mood

English verbs have four moods: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, and infinitive. Mood is the form of the verb that shows the mode or manner in which a thought is expressed. 1. Indicative Mood: expresses an assertion, denial, or question: Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas. Ostriches cannot fly. Have you finished your homework? 2. Imperative … Read more

Dissatisfied vs. Unsatisfied

Don’t mix up dissatisfied with unsatisfied. Dissatisfied applies only to people who are unhappy, frustrated or disappointed with a thing, person or situation.  Examples: I was dissatisfied with the service I received at the restaurant. She was dissatisfied with his response to her question. Unsatisfied refers to the feeling of needing more and can be … Read more

DWT Grammar Test 1: Take it Now!

It is time to release another test. This time around you will measure your grammar knowledge and skills. If you have been reading the blog for a while you should have no problems with the 20 questions presented…. Here is a sample question: 1. ______ shall I say is calling?. Who Whom Whose Who’s Here … Read more

When Did “Pimp” Become a Positive Term?

Much to my horrified amazement, I just ran across a Facebook page called Obama Is A Pimp. The amazing thing is that the page is supportive of Barack Obama. The horrified part of my discovery had to do with the fact that to me pimp is a despicable term for a person who practices a … Read more

Word of the Day: Abyss

An abyss [ə-bĭs’] is a deep hole, so deep as to seem bottomless. “The Abyss” refers to the infernal regions that include the abode of the dead, the home of evil powers, and the place of punishment of the wicked. The adjective is abysmal. If you stare into the Abyss long enough the Abyss stares … Read more

Five Ways to Write Faster

Whether you need to clear a backlog of emails, write an important document at work, finish a short story, or do your homework, spending hours staring at a blank screen and struggling to come up with words won’t help. If you know you could get twice as much done if only you could write faster, … Read more

PC Vitals for Every Freelance Writer

If you’ve never experienced the horror of a computer screen turning stark blue and displaying garbled characters while you are working on it, then lucky you. My advice is to never take things for granted. Computers have a nasty habit of hiding their internal illnesses until it’s too late, by telling you one thing when … Read more

Pander Code

A word that jumps incessantly out of newspapers, magazines, and the mouths of political pundits these days is some form of pander. It’s especially popular as a headline word: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist pandering to get vice presidential nod Speech doesn’t pander; does it explain? Pander and Run POLL-VERIZED ELIOT SHIFTS INTO PANDER GEAR How … Read more

Pen Names

A reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, uses his real name in his writing for a weekly newspaper, but is considering using a pen name for other work. He wrote: I have had heavy criticisms attached to my birth name, before my professional career [as a journalist] even started, and believe with a pen name … Read more