A Case for Title Case

You know about uppercase and lowercase, but do you know about sentence case and title case? Sentence case is exactly what you think it is: the first word and proper names get capped. In title case, all words except articles, prepositions, and conjunctions get capped. Also, the first and last words, no matter their parts […]

“Voluptuous” vs. “Voluminous”

By request of friends I saw yesterday, I’ll discuss voluptuous and voluminous. Well, other than their spellings and their part of speech (adjective), they don’t have much in common. The former refers to something that’s full of delight, and it’s often used to describe a pleasing female form. The latter usually refers to something that […]

Apostrophes

Oh, the poor, misunderstood apostrophe. It’s used for contractions and possessives, and some people can’t tell those two apart. Here are a few common mistakes in the form of contraction/possessive: it’s/its, you’re/your, they’re/their. Can you think of others that trip people up? Put them in the comments.

“Any More” vs. “Anymore”

There’s a difference between any more (two words) and anymore (one word). The former contains any, an adjective meaning an indeterminate number, and more, a noun meaning something additional (e.g., “That was good. Do you have any more?”). The latter means any longer (e.g., “My son never calls me anymore”).

Using “Utilize”

I once again read something that made me cringe. Let me tell you that using utilize instead of use doesn’t make one sound smarter; it does just the opposite. One should use utilize only when using something for a purpose for which it was not intended, such as utilizing a shoe as a hammer or […]

Don’t Do That

Avoid redundancies. For instance, don’t use and then; just pick whichever of those words feels right in the spot, and go with it. Don’t use so that; in fact, that is an extremely overused word. Read the sentence without that and see if it’s necessary.

Overdoing It

There are a couple of words that drive me a little nuts because they are just more than they need to be. For instance, “amongst” and “utilization” cause me to immediately remove the last two letters from the former and change the latter to “use.” Don’t make your writing harder for your reader.

“Real” vs. “Really”

I noticed a sign in a restaurant that indicated they had real great chicken. Let me talk about why that’s wrong. Either they’re saying their chicken is real and great, so they’re missing a comma after real, or they mean to say they have really great chicken. This is a common mistake. Real is an […]

“Hardly” Is Negative

Hardly is a negative word. That means that when you say, “can’t hardly,” you’re saying the opposite of what you mean. You should say, “I can hardly wait.”

“Everyday” vs. “Every Day”

I just saw this on a sign a couple of days ago, so I thought it would be a good LTotD. “Open 9-6 Everyday” I cringed and almost reached for my red pen. Everyday (one word) is an adjective, so it modifies a noun (e.g., “an everyday occurrence). Every day (two words) is an adjective […]


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