Author Archives: Erin Brenner

Writing Productivity: Measurements and Tools

Recently on the Copyediting blog, I wrote about how editors could measure their productivity: what measurements are useful, how to measure your productivity, and what tools you can use to measure them. Although writing is less linear than editing, productivity … Continue reading

Posted in Writing Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Try and Understand

Does the following sentence from Adweek bother you: It is tempting—as well as, in liberal circles, heretical—to try and separate Roger Ailes from his politics. Some language pedants will be immediately drawn to try and and will insist that it … Continue reading

Posted in Usable Usage | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Testament vs. Testimony: It’s All Relative

A Copyediting reader recently asked me about the difference between testimony and testament. Although both terms relate to evidence, testimony specifically refers to evidence from a witness, while testament is “tangible proof or evidence,” according to American Heritage Dictionary. The … Continue reading

Posted in Word Stories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dots, Words, and Juice: Three Books on Words

I’ve reviewed several serious reference books in this blog. But language books don’t all have to be serious to be worth reading. Sometimes they can be fun and entertaining—and still teach you something. Here are three books that fit that … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Grammar Quiz: National Grammar Day Contest

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a contest here on The Writing Resource, and with National Grammar Day coming up next week, I want to give you an opportunity to win a cool grammar prize. So here’s the deal: correct … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Punctuation Point: How to Use Brackets

Brackets are those square parentheses next to the letter P on most keyboards: [ ]. Maybe you’ve noticed them sitting there and wondered what they were really for. Today, I’ll give you a brief rundown of how to use them. … Continue reading

Posted in Punctuation Points | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Vocab Builder: Fifty-Cent Words

Last week, I mentioned my love of lyrics that use fifty-cent words. According to Merriam-Webster, a fifty-cent word is “an obscure word used to describe a simple idea thus making the user self-important.” Despite the negative connotation, I don’t think … Continue reading

Posted in Vocab Builder | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Vocab Builder: Lyrics

The Christmas music that so recently surrounded us put me in mind of a word list I’ve been wanting to do: unusual or older words found in lyrics. I confess that I like my music to have lyrics with meaning, … Continue reading

Posted in Vocab Builder | Tagged , | Leave a comment

10 Subject-Verb Agreement Rules

Subject-verb agreement sounds easy, doesn’t it? A singular subject takes singular verb: Tom rides his bike to work every day. A plural subject takes a plural verb: The boys are climbing the walls like caged animals. Yet The Copyeditor’s Handbook … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar Bites | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Vocab Builder: Patriotic Terms

This week’s words come from a famous document in America’s history. If you are the first person to e-mail me the correct answer, I’ll send you a copy of the document! Here’s the list: Unalienable: not to be separated or … Continue reading

Posted in Vocab Builder | Tagged , , | Leave a comment