Imminent, Immanent, and Eminent

Judaye Streett has asked for a tip on the similarly sounding words imminent, immanent, and eminent. Imminent is an adjective meaning “about to happen.” It comes from a Latin word meaning “to overhang” or “to be near.” ” Obama’s court pick is imminent Pfizer Chief Says Growth Is Imminent PSPgo Relaunch is Imminent Bush Says … Read more

Types of Rhyme

The poet who wishes to write a rhyming poem has several different sorts of rhyme from which to choose. Some are strong, some more subtle, and all can be employed as the poet sees fit. The following are some of the main types : 
  End Rhymes Rhyming of the final words of lines in a … Read more

“About” and “For” with Adjectives

The recent post on “excited for” got me thinking that a list of adjectives that take about and for might be useful. for eager for happy for (as in I’m happy for you because you have succeeded.) therapeutic for unsuitable for about adamant about enthusiastic about exuberant about exultant about excited about elated about flippant … Read more

Event and Occasion

Karen writes: Wondering if you can do a post on the use of ‘event’ and ‘occasion’ – are they interchangeable terms, or does one imply more significance than the other? To me, “an occasion” is more special than “an event.” The twins’ birthday is always a special occasion for the family. However, many speakers would … Read more

Made With Scratch?

This is a guest post by Yvonne Canchola. If you want to write for Daily Writing Tips check the guidelines here. A fast food restaurant, I heard recently on the radio, now has “scratch-made” biscuits. I’m suspicious, but what bothers me more than my doubts is the misuse of the idiom “to make something from … Read more

Fluent in Speech and Affluent in Wealth

Some speakers and writers are beginning to use the word affluent in contexts that call for fluent. Here are some examples of incorrect usage I’ve notice on the web: a good vocabulary is necessary… everyone should be well rounded and affluent in their own language. [Name] has over 14 years of real estate experience, is … Read more

Writing Clinic #1: The Informal Email

Welcome to the first edition of the Writing Clinic. The piece edited today is an informal email that one of our readers crafted to salute friends and colleagues who helped him land a scholarship. If you want to submit your piece you can email it to [email protected]. Before Dear Colleagues, Hereby I would like to … Read more

This Sink Needs Fixed

Maureen Garrison writes: Have you discussed the way people leave out “to be” in phrases such as “This needs to be washed?”  I keep hearing and seeing in print, “This needs washed.”  I assume it should be, “This needs to be washed,” or “This needs washing,” but maybe I’m missing something.  I’d love to see … Read more

When Should Poetry Rhyme?

Not all poetry rhymes. It’s common to hear readers criticize poems that don’t rhyme, suggesting, perhaps, that the poets concerned were insufficiently skilled. But a great deal of poetry in the English language doesn’t employ rhyme. Blank verse, for example – by definition unrhymed – was a form of poetry often favoured by Milton, Shakespeare, … Read more

Submissions and Submittals

Scott asks: Would you comment on the differences in the nouns “submittal” and “submission” to denote a document submitted to someone or, perhaps, uploaded to a website?  Which is better and under what circumstances? The major sources, Strunk and White, Chicago, for example, don’t mention them.  I prefer the concrete submittal because the word submission … Read more

Taking and Bringing

Carol Roberts Smith asks: Why can’t we ‘take’ anything anywhere anymore? Why do we have to ‘bring’ it. It sounds weird to me to say bring or brought. ‘I brought lunch to work’ I can live with, but ‘I have to bring this back to the store’ makes no sense to me. I’m taking it … Read more

Telling a Good Poem from a Bad One

What makes a poem “good”? The answer ultimately lies with the reader of the poem, but there is a certain consensus as to what makes a poem “good” or “bad.” According to the critic Coleridge, prose is “words in their best order,” while poetry is “the best words in their best order. Poetry demands precision. … Read more