Erin Brenner

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

Erin Brenner

Author Archives: Erin Brenner

About Erin Brenner

With a BA and an MA in English, Erin has been an editing professional for 15 years, working on a variety of media, especially online. Her niche is business/marketing and online. In addition, she has experience teaching editing to non-editors and coaching writers. In 2008, Erin was bitten by the social media bug…hard. Follow her on Twitter, @ebrenner, and get a daily vocabulary word, a link to the article of the day, and much more. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Style Watch: The APA Style Guide

The author knows a lot about many publication styles. But APA just flummoxes her. Continue reading

    

 


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Reading the Roman Missal, Part 2: Oblation

Is “oblation” an everyday word, and if not, why does the Catholic Church use it so much? Continue reading

    

 


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Protecting the Tower or Holding Back the Tide?

Language changes are inevitable. One way they happen and how to deal with them in copy. Continue reading

    

 


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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

    

 


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Reading the Roman Missal, Part 1: Consubstantial

Closely reading the new translation of the Roman Missal gives us some excellent lessons in writing. This week: using “consubstantial.” Continue reading

    

 


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The Many Dance Partners of “Enamored”

What’s wrong with “enamored with”? Continue reading

    

 


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Happy Bloomsday!

Raise a cup of cheer for James Joyce and celebrate Bloomsday with one of these activities. Continue reading

    

 


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Moving Toward Correct Usage

Is it “toward” or “towards”? “Afterward” or “afterwards”? And what’s with that “s”, anyway? Continue reading

    

 


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The Trouble with FANBOYS

FANBOYS can keep you from a comma splice, but only if you know what you’re doing with it. Continue reading

    

 


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It Is to Be Hoped That You’ll Agree

Last month, The AP Stylebook, the style guide for many American newspapers, finally gave up on restricting hopefully to its original meaning, “in a hopeful manner.” The stylebook now also allows hopefully to be as a sentence adverb meaning “it is hoped” or … Continue reading

    

 


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Erin Brenner

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2009 08

Monthly Archives: August 2009

Welcome to The Writing Resource

How does one start a blog? Maybe you write a lovely introduction about your plans for the blog, how wonderful and useful it’ll be and how readers just must read it, preferably regularly. Man, I hope not. I’ve been trying … Continue reading

    

 


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2009 08

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2009 09

Monthly Archives: September 2009

Weekly Vocab Builder

Improve your lexicon with these words. Use one or more in a sentence in the comments section! MFA: Made for AdSense. A derogatory term for sites created just to post ads through Google’s AdSense program and get readers to click … Continue reading

    

 


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Grammar Quiz…Answers!

On Friday, I offered you a couple quick quizzes to test your grammar knowledge. As promised here are the answers. Subject/Verb Agreement. Choose the correct verb.1. Either you or Vern wins this silver pin.2. The herd of cattle was sold … Continue reading

    

 


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Grammar Quiz: Grammar Basics

It’s Friday, and my third grader is taking a battery of quizzes to show he learned something this week. Maybe that’s not a bad idea for us adults. Herewith, three quizzes on basic grammar knowledge. All exercises are from Easy … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Part of writing well is having a rich vocabulary…and knowing how to use it. Check out these words from my Twitter Vocab Builder feature. NIMBY: http://bit.ly/nv5NPCap and trade: http://bit.ly/1VBZTCarrefour: http://bit.ly/15hycTGadabout: http://bit.ly/HTUrxAbecedarian: http://bit.ly/DtWHO Increase your vocabulary even more. Get the Word … Continue reading

    

 


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Writing Tip: What’s That You Say?

The Hartford Courant recently began aggregating content from other media outlets. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always attributing the content and has apologized. Whether intentional or not, presenting someone else’s words as your own, in small part or in their entirety, is … Continue reading

    

 


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Writing Tip: Unpack Your Suitcase

Portmanteau, or suitcase, sentences are long sentences packed with lots of information. They’re called that, says James Kilkpatrick in his now-defunct Charlotte Observer column, “The Writer’s Art,” “for the 16th-century suitcase. It was huge. You could pack everything into a … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Can you define all these words? Follow the links to build your vocabulary! Cyberculture: http://bit.ly/2M9mo4Geolocation: http://bit.ly/RTBT2Nor’easter: http://bit.ly/121r1IRatchet: http://bit.ly/195Uab

    

 


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Grammar Bite: Active vs. Passive Voice

You want to keep your readers engaged with your writing to the end. You want them awake and interested in what you have to say. One way to do this is to use more active voice and less passive voice … Continue reading

    

 


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Writing Tip: Avoiding the I-I-I

Writers are often encouraged to “speak from the I,” sharing their experiences with readers and imparting valuable advice in the process. The trick, of course, is to keep that first-person point of view while focusing more on the readers rather … Continue reading

    

 


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Vocab Builder

Can you define all these words? Follow the links to build your vocabulary! Hyacinth Bucket Syndrome: http://bit.ly/1eOMwELion of the Senate: http://bit.ly/ntj2gtintinnabulation: http://bit.ly/U8RbTgallicism: http://bit.ly/DkzNGlackadaisical: http://bit.ly/3TU1kEredolent: http://bit.ly/vskqp

    

 


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2009 09

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2009 10

Monthly Archives: October 2009

Unraveling the Mysteries of the Editorial Process

Telling the difference between an editor’s title and his role in the editorial process. Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Missed one of last week’s vocabulary words on Twitter? Here they are again: Levelize: to even out; to make level. (Honestly, just use level.) Sweet spot: colloquially, the coming together of just the right events or criteria. Sea change: a … Continue reading

    

 


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Style Watch: Is It E-Mail or Email?

More than once during my tenure at ClickZ, I was asked to review style preferences on digital terms, most recently e-mail, Web, Internet, and home page. These terms are new enough that their spellings are in flux. Should e-mail have … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

I slacked a little last week on my vocabulary words, but I hope their unusualness makes up for it. Here’s what you might have missed: titivate: to make something neater or more beautiful. rakish: fashionable. Also, disreputable. petrichor: the smell … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Improve your vocabulary, improve your writing. This week’s list: Halcyon: a mythical figure. Also, calm, peaceful. Also, well see the link. This word has a lot of meanings. Choral: a worship song. Sesquipedalian: a long word. Also, someone who likes … Continue reading

    

 


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Writing Tip: Five Resources Every Writer Needs

A small section of my reference library. Dictionary Dictionaries go beyond telling you how to spell word correctly and what a word means. They also give you word history, syllabication (a fifty-cent word for how it breaks into syllables), labels … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Missed some of last week’s vocabulary via Twitter? Here’s the roundup. Use one or more in a sentence in the comments section! Web scraping: http://bit.ly/3Z9Imu.Gallivant: http://bit.ly/tzXm3.Susurrus: http://bit.ly/3iFLG.Phantasmagorical: http://bit.ly/KMdWn.Endgame: http://bit.ly/Rw7Cd. Be sure to check out more words on Wordie and follow … Continue reading

    

 


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It’s a Shame to Waste a Good Recession

Today is my last day with ClickZ, a site I’ve worked for for nine years. I joined just before the dot-bomb and have weathered the ups and downs. I still like what ClickZ has to offer; its writers are the … Continue reading

    

 


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2009 10

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2009 11

Monthly Archives: November 2009

A Writer’s Checklist

You’ve nurtured an idea, slaved over every word, and you’re ready to send your words out into the world. But wait! Have you reread your work? Unfortunately, many small, easily fixed errors can creep into your copy (I’m always finding … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Could your writing use some oomph? Try using one of these words this week: statusphere: the realm of status updates on the Web through different platforms and networking sites delineate: to mark out in words twitturgy: tweeting about religion mussitation: … Continue reading

    

 


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That Which Has a Tail, Part 2: Quiz Answers

Did you try the exercise in yesterday’s That Which Has a Tail post? Here are the correct answers: The letter that came today was nice than the one that came yesterday. Usually my mail, which is delivered at noon, is … Continue reading

    

 


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That Which Has a Tail

Someone recently asked me the difference between that and which. I stumbled through a response, knowing I wasn’t doing an adequate job of it. Herewith, a (hopefully) better answer. By the way, if you speak the Queen’s English, the answer … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Improve your writing by increasing your vocabulary. This week’s list: Nurturance: going beyond nurturing, the nourishment and emotional and physical care of someone. Acrostic: a poem in which the first letter of the first word in every line spells out … Continue reading

    

 


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Who vs. Whom and Other Writing Bugaboos

Every writer has them: little points of grammar she can never remember. Is it who or whom? When is effect the right word? Is it i.e. or e.g., and what do they stand for anyway? Herewith, a few points to … Continue reading

    

 


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2009 11

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2009 12

Monthly Archives: December 2009

Weekly Vocab Builder

This week’s list is a hodgepodge of words not often used. Try one out! Recalcitrant: stubbornly resistant Fatuous: foolish, silly Deipnosophist: one fluent in small talk Hoptoad: the act of a train hopping of the rails. You can also get … Continue reading

    

 


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Making Fewer Mistakes, Not Less

Why do we say: We have less money to buy fewer groceries. Instead of: We have less money to buy less groceries. Or: We have fewer money to buy less groceries. Because grammar, the mechanics of language, matters. Said Melissa … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Some uncommon words to enliven your writing: Sojourner: a visitor; a traveler who stays somewhere for a short time Aha moment:  epiphany; a moment of intellectual discovery Punctilious: meticulous; taking note of small details Forfend: to forbid; also to protect … Continue reading

    

 


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Dash It All

Hyphens, and Em-dashes, and En-dashes, Oh My! Hyphens and dashes are common pieces of punctuations that can really improve your writing—if you know how to use them. Hyphens can show relationship between words and numbers. Em-dashes can lend your writing … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

This week’s list of words is a short one, but I think they’re worth your effort: Skullduggery: deception, fraud, subterfuge. Jack-up: a drilling rig used offshore; also an increase, as in price Eviscerate: to disembowel; to take away a vital … Continue reading

    

 


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Are You a Grammar Ninja?

Sometimes one grammar quiz just isn’t enough. OK, maybe if you’re a grammar geek like me, one isn’t enough, but it’s probably more than enough for the rest of the world. Still, sometimes you need to brush up on your … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

One of the things I love about words is how they can sometimes take on a personality that mirrors their definitions. I found this poem in one of my son’s poetry books recently that exemplifies this idea: Jittery seems a … Continue reading

    

 


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2009 12

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2010 01

Monthly Archives: January 2010

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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2010 01

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2010 02

Monthly Archives: February 2010

Vocab Elements and Online Language Effects

We spend a lot of time on this blog learning new words to improve our writing and expand our minds. I wanted to know more about the study of words and how the online world is affecting our language. This … Continue reading

    

 


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Writing Tip: Journaling

A brand-new journal, all clean and crisp, is such a weighty thing. It holds such possibilities for discovery, creativity, and the all-important record. What would our modern society be without a record of events? We spend so much of our … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Hey, gang. This week’s list is a mishmash of words that struck my fancy. Read on! Groupthink: Decision-making by a group, especially when most of the group accept the decisions without thought or criticism Cosmophobia: An irrational fear that the … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder: Negative Digital Terms

Hey, gang. This week’s vocabulary builder focuses on the negative side of the digital world: Hashtag spam: Tweets that use a (usually popular) hashtag (#) that has nothing to do with the tweet and that is used just to gain attention … Continue reading

    

 


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The Direct Address Comma: Quiz Answers

Get the answer to the direct address comma quiz from Friday. Continue reading

    

 


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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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2010 02

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2010 03

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Weekly Vocab Builder: Fun to Say

Hi, gang. Some words come out of your mouth, and you hardly feel them. Others do gymnastics, giving your mouth a real workout as they burst out into the world. Herewith, some of my favorite words to say because of … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder: Shakespeare Inspired

Last week, we experienced the ides of March, or March 15. Since I can never pass March 15 without thinking of Shakespeare, this week’s words all appear in the great man’s work. If they don’t inspire you to write like … Continue reading

    

 


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Writing Exercise: Imagine If…

Recently I talked about keeping a writing journal. No matter what form your journal takes, you should write in it every day. Today, I’m offering you an exercise to wake up your imagination. Whether you write action-packed thrillers or B2B … Continue reading

    

 


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Language Resources Page

Hi, all. If you look at the top of the page, no farther up, up above the title banner. Yes, there. See it? There’s a new tab: Language Resources. On that page, I’ve collected a list of books and Web … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

This week’s list is a random collection of words. Use them in good health! Billet-doux: a love letter Eschew: shun, reject, avoid Selectarian: someone who chooses everything she eats Baneful: harmful Clickworker: someone who works on a computer without working … Continue reading

    

 


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Punctuation Point: The Serial Comma

Oxford comma. Harvard comma. Serial comma. They all mean the same thing: the comma that comes right before the and in a series. As in: Sean ate eggs, pancakes, and bacon for breakfast. That second comma is the one we’re … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder: Grammar Week

March 4 was National Grammar Day. To celebrate, all of this post’s words are grammar-related. Gerund: a verb that is acting as a noun, in English usually with the -ing ending Participle: a verb that is acting as an adjective … Continue reading

    

 


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It’s National Grammar Day!

It’s National Grammar Day! How will you celebrate? Purchase some new grammar books? Here are a few (they’re all on my wish list, in case you were wondering): The Careful Writer The Deluxe Transitive Vampire Oxford Guide to Plain English … Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder

Climb out of stygian ignorance through assiduous study of these words: Assiduous: diligent Edify: to teach to encourage improvement intellectually, morally, or spiritually Stygian: dark, hellish Gastronome: a gourmet Hyperlocal: a very small area or community, such as a neighborhood … Continue reading

    

 


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2010 03

Posted on August 27, 2019 Posted by Bertha Perez

2010 04

Monthly Archives: April 2010

Punctuation Point: The Semicolon

The semicolon is useful, though often misunderstood, piece of punctuation. Today’s lesson shows you how to use the semicolon with confidence. Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder: Poetic Terms

April is National Poetry Month. In honor of that, this week’s vocabulary words are all poetry terms. Continue reading

    

 


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Writers’ Day

The author spends a day with other writers and finds inspiration aplenty. Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder: Bad Guys

I recently found a great list on Wordnik that defines different kinds of bad guys. Which bad guy are you? Continue reading

    

 


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How to Find the Right Editor

You’ve crafted your writing with all the skills and art you posses . But at some point, you have to let someone else handle your copy. You have to hire an editor. Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder: Easily Confused Words

This week’s vocabulary list deals with words that are often misused. Rise above the rest by getting your words right the first time. Continue reading

    

 


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Grammar Bite: Misplaced Modifiers

Misplaced modifiers can cause you to say something you don’t mean. Learn how to identify and fix them in today’s Grammar Bite. Continue reading

    

 


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Weekly Vocab Builder: New Lit Types

Writer David Shields recently spoke at RiverRun Books in Portsmouth, NH, asking whether literature is really a relevant way to tell stories anymore. While the Internet offers us so many new ways to tell stories, by the looks of this … Continue reading

    

 


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The Grammar Devotional: Learn Something New Today

I’ve been listening to the Grammar Girl podcast for years. It offers grammar lessons in plain English. The Grammar Girl widget sits to the right of this column (scroll down and take the quiz!). I guess you could say I’m … Continue reading

    

 


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