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
Thanks to Cookie Monster, we know “C” is for “cookie,” but there’s so much more we need to learn.
For example, what is the difference between a “macaron” and a “macaroon”? They are both delicious cookies, but they are quite different. One is easy to make; one is not. One is chewy; one has an eggshell-like crust with a meringue inner texture. One has coconut; one has almond flour. Which one is which? After a recent gift from an awesome local bakery, I was determined to get this right.
In case you need a similar reminder: More
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
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
Bring it on. See what I’m saying here? I’m inviting you to deliver a challenge my way, and I’m ready for it. Today, that challenge just happens to be the usage of “bring” vs. “take.”
Peter Piper didn’t pick a “pack” of pickled peppers. Peter Piper picked a “peck” of pickled peppers. But have you ever wondered what the heck a peck was?
It’s a bafflement of generations. We practice the tongue twister, never teasing the meaning from the lines. But it’s time to elevate our comprehension. More
If I were a rich man… If I were a boy… Whether you want to start this “if I was” vs. “if I were” conversation with Fiddler on the Roof or Beyoncé, it’s a conversation we need to have.
Let’s talk unreal conditionals and the subjunctive mood. Actually, no, let’s not. That doesn’t sound very exciting.
Let’s talk music and musicians who get grammar. More exciting? Almost. But bear with me. More
Oh, I see you, letter E, making your big difference between these two words. The question is, does everyone else see you too?
When I stumble upon a writing blog or a Twitter post, where someone is talking about the “heroin” of their novel, I just want to chime in. Not because I’m an editor. No, I’m sure it’s not a typo. I’m sure that wordsmith just feels like writing is such a drug, an addition, something for better or worse you just can’t shake, something that gets into your blood stream and makes you buzz sometimes, makes you giddy and exhilarated, something that makes you hallucinate and hear voices of characters when reality tells you they just aren’t there… More