Not Nice At All

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My high school English teacher banned the use of the word nice. She said it was a lazy adjective. Although she was a bit harsh, there was some truth in what she said.

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Principle, Principal

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Principle and principal are easily confused. It doesn’t help that they are homophones, which means they sound alike. Here’s a guide to what they mean and how you can tell them apart.

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The Everyday Blues

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When I was a reporter for a small daily newspaper back in the late 90s, I had an editor whose biggest pet peeve was the misuse of the word “everyday.” His peeve has followed me into my professional life, and I cringe a little every time I see it being used improperly.

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I Hate “Kids”

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No, I don’t hate children, young people, babies, infants, toddlers, adolescents, teenagers, or youth. I hate the universal use of the word “kid” or its plural to denote any and all of the categories of juvenile human beings.

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The Right Climate

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With some words, a single letter can completely change the meaning. Take the letter ‘c’ and the words climactic and climatic. There’s not much difference in spelling and the words even sound the same, but there’s a world of difference in meaning.

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Accepting Complements

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There are a number of words that people have a hard time keeping straight. Usually these words sound alike, but have very different meanings. For instance, should you say “Please accept my complement!” or “Please accept my compliment!”?

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The Difference Between e.g. and i.e.?

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The Latin abbreviations e.g. and i.e. are used extensively in English. Not everyone, however, is aware of the difference in their usage. Some people use them interchangeably. Others even invert their meaning. If you are not completely sure when to use each of those abbreviations, keep reading!

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There, Their, They’re

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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.

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