Under Wraps vs. Under Raps

Writing Tip 230: “Under Wraps” vs. “Under Raps”

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 […]

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Prouder or More Proud Peacock

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 […]

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"School of Fish" vs. "Shoal of Fish"

Writing Tip 228: “School of Fish” vs. “Shoal of Fish”

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.

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Leg Work vs. Legwork

Writing Tip 227: “Leg Work” vs. “Legwork”

The Rockettes do leg work. MMA fighters do leg work. Kids with mad soccer skills do leg work. If you’re talking about research and preparation, your legs probably shouldn’t get as much of a shout-out as you seem to be giving them. The idea of “legwork,” as a single word, dates back to the 1890s. […]

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"this" and "that"

Writing Tip 226: Adding Specificity to “This” and “That”

If you’re talking about this, that, and the other, does everyone else in the conversation have a clue about what you’re discussing? “This” and “that” are great words. They help with specificity when you’re talking about this bird in a nearby tree versus that bird over on the wind vane. They help distinguish between this […]

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Writing Tip 225: “Poisonous” vs. “Venomous”

Writing Tip 225: “Poisonous” vs. “Venomous”

I have good news for you. Contrary to what you might have heard, there’s no such thing as a poisonous snake. But here’s the bad news, this doesn’t make your next romp through leaf piles in the woods any safer.

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Ravage vs Ravish

Writing Tip 224: “Ravish” vs. “Ravage”

If you’re talking ‘bout the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the moon up above, you might be tackling this thing called “love,” but here’s a hint: if you’re writing about a lover ravaging another, it’s not a happy love story. To take it up a notch—and maybe a few […]

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