Was the band Puddle of Mudd bleary when they sang, “Everything’s so blurry”?
Bleary-eyed. Blurry vision. I know they’re close, but these two words are not one and the same.
I can’t “take it all away.”
I’m not “shoving it in your face.”
But let me “explain again to [you].”
Oh, Puddle of Mudd, I know you’re not singing about this word confusion, but for a moment, I’m going to pretend that you are. More
Rumors are flying, so what do you do? Do you tamp them down or tap them down? If a business strategy isn’t quite working, are profits tamped down or tapped down?
Sure, you think trouble might come from uppercuts and jabs, but here’s a case when gentle tapping (or should I say, “tamping”?) causes the biggest blows—at least in terms of correct word choice. More
This is episode 4, and I’ve got another question for you: Is the expression “you’ve got another think coming” or “you’ve got another thing coming”?
Former President Barack Obama and Judas Priest are tied up in the answer, but before I get to it, I wanted to give a special shout out to my new podcast and newsletter subscribers. I look forward to continuing this word exploration journey with you. You all are awesome, and my next newsletter is coming your way next week.
And about that question…
Whether the stormy weather comes from a hurricane, tornado, or simply a boss on a rampage, you need to at least be aware of whether you need to “button down” or “batten down” the hatches. One is the correct idiom. Neither are really something your sewing kit can handle.
This is an idiom that comes from a nautical origin—unlike toeing the line, which many assume has a beginning related with a great heave ho of sails but actually has more to do with where your feet are lined up at the start of a foot race. But that’s another conversion. More
The Words You Should Know podcast. A few stolen minutes out of your day to talk words and communication. This is episode 2, and I’m already loving the feedback I’m getting from you. I appreciate how many of you have already subscribed to my podcast or reached out with questions for future episodes.
Without further ado, here’s today’s writing tip for the curious or confused:
Here it is, folks. Season one, episode number one of the Words You Should Know Podcast. First came the blog, then came the indie book, then came the traditional publishing deal (shout-out to Get a Grip on Your Grammar, Career Press, 2017). Now, it’s time for my next project.
Words. Language. Communication. Let’s do this thing.
Episode 1: “Never Mind” vs. “Nevermind” (or how Kurt Cobain changed spelling for a generation)
Where I grew up, “y’all” is as everyday as the Appalachian Mountains that surround you like an embrace, but I now have family and friends who cringe a bit at that word. A few even occasionally use “yous,” and I try my best not to shudder, though I realize my own regionalisms probably have the same effect on their ears.
Honestly, it all comes down to the same problem: When you’re talking to a group of people, what’s the best word to use to make it clear you’re talking to a whole bunch of people? You’re not just talking to Rebecca. You’re talking to her entire department or her entire family.
Maybe you have the Goonies in the back of your head, with Sloth saying “Hey, you guys…” And, again, while it offers an answer, “you guys,” is still not quite right. While many utilize “guys” as a gender-neutral word, it still has a male connotation that doesn’t always sit well. More
Whether you are a student or not, it’s time to step your communication skills up a notch. This is “Words You Should Know: the Back-to-School Edition.” Six questions from six school subjects to challenge your word usage skills.
Are you ready for this?
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