Tag Archives: erin brenner

Punctuation Point: The Direct Address Comma

Recently, this cartoon made the rounds of language mavens: The comma rule depicted here is simple: use a comma with the name of a person you are directly addressing. If the name comes first, it is followed by a comma: … Continue reading

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Weekly Vocab Builder: Humor

Lately, I’ve been thinking about humor and the varieties it comes in. My husband has been talking about it on his blog, too, which is what got me started. In general conversation, we tend to use humor labels loosely. But … Continue reading

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Grammar Bite: Compose vs. Comprise

Some writers use “compose” and “comprise” interchangeably. Is that really OK? Continue reading

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Weekly Vocab Builder

OK, weekly is a bit of misnomer here. I fell a little behind due to a severe head cold, so herewith is your “Weekly Vocab Builder…and a Bit More.” Scalawag: a troublemaker, racscal. Hypallage: “reversal of the syntactic relation of … Continue reading

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Understanding a Classic: Fowler’s Modern English Usage

I’ve said before that every writer needs five resources to help her in the writing craft: a dictionary, a thesaurus, a style guide, a usage guide, and resources that offer writing advice. A usage guide helps you determine how specific … Continue reading

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Weekly Vocab Builder: Getting Canned

It’s happened to most of us at one time or another: your company no longer wants you to work for it and it terminates you. But did you ever notice how many different words we use to avoid saying it … Continue reading

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Writing Groups: Eliminate the Isolation

Here in New England, winters can be long, isolating seasons. As a writer, you’re already somewhat isolated: it’s just you and that stupid blinking cursor on the screen, shouting at you that you’ve written nothing, nothing, nothing! Sure, you probably … Continue reading

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Weekly Vocab Builder: Loanwords

This week’s Vocab Builder focuses on loanwords, words borrowed from other languages. If you want to add a foreign flair to your writing, waking your readers up to what you’re saying, try one of the following: Incomunicado: out of communication; … Continue reading

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Words of the Year Roundup, 2009

Language is an organic system. It grows and changes to meet its speakers’ needs. You can learn a lot about a society by watching the words it uses. Many dictionaries and other word experts catalog words that are in vogue. … Continue reading

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2010: The Year You Connect to Your Audience

Welcome writers to 2010, the year you make contact…with your audience! If your goal this year is to improve your writing, you’ll want to visit this blog often. In addition to spicing up your writing with some great words, you’ll … Continue reading

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