If you think that “tact” is short for “tactic,” well… you’ve got another think coming. A “tack” is so much more than a pin to hold up your favorite inspirational quote by your desk. As a noun, “tack” can be a pin or flat-headed nail; it can also be a course or approach, as well […]
If your name is Scott and you didn’t make it to the party, you could argue that party is Scott-free, but what about other uses of this phrase? Is it about being sober? (Scotch free) Is it about excluding anyone Scottish? (Scot Free) I’ve heard some great thoughts about where this expression comes from—and what […]
It sneaks into our language often enough that it deserves a moment in the spotlight—a moment in the spotlight before we hopefully make it completely disappear. Remember, “complimentative” is not actually a word. Neither is “complimentive” or any other variation in spelling.
Uh, oh. Did I just make you question how you wrote that last email? Or did you just talk yourself into a difference concerning magical staffs versus the staff of your office? It’s not that simple, folks. Here’s an example of a subject-verb pairing you might write fairly frequently if you’re in the business world, […]
Under the lyrics of your favorite song, you might hear the base line driving the music. Depending on your musical taste, maybe its “under raps,” but this is the only time you should use this spelling. When you think of the correct spelling of this idiom, which is “under wraps” by the way, think instead […]
Writing Tip 229: “More Proud” vs. “Prouder” (And when to use “-er” and “-est” vs. “more” and “most”)
If your mom has ever told you she couldn’t be more proud, maybe she said it because it was true. But before you start feeling all the warm fuzzies, maybe it was just a matter of linguistics. “More proud” isn’t really a thing. She couldn’t be “more proud,” because that combination of words isn’t technically […]
It’s time to get schooled on a “school of fish” vs. “shoal of fish.” Here’s your hint: one of them shoals, and one of them “schools.” Did that help? What do you mean “No”? This is a tip designed to make you look savvy, since most people aren’t aware of a difference.
- June 15: David Hicks & Cheryl Pallant Discuss The Writing Life at Fountain Bookstore
- June 28: Examining the Writing Marketplace: Micro to Mid-sized Publishers by James River Writers (Writing Show series)
- July 26: The Art of the Start: Finding the Entry-point to your Story by James River Writers (Writing Show series)