Writing Tip 356: Peter Piper Picked a What?

Writing Tip 356: Peter Piper Picked a What?

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 was" vs. "if I were" - wishing

Writing Tip 356: “If I Was” vs. “If I Were”

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 […]

More

Writing Tip 355: “Inflamed” vs. “Enflamed”

Writing Tip 355: “Inflamed” vs. “Enflamed”

When the discussion gets heated, are tempers “inflamed” or “enflamed”? Is there a difference? Which one should you use? Some days, it might feel hard to keep yourself in check, but before passions flare (or is it “flair”?), let’s settle this once and for all.

More

Writing Tip 354: “Heroine” vs. “Heroin”

Writing Tip 354: “Heroine” vs. “Heroin”

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. […]

More

Writing Tip 353: “Right” or “Rite” of Passage

Writing Tip 353: “Right” or “Rite” of Passage

Discussions of “Rights” are sometimes tricky. Discussions of “Rites” are often equally complicated. Discussions of why I capitalized both of those words might be intimidating. But discussing the differences between “rights” and “rites” shouldn’t be a matter that mystifies us.

More

Writing Tip 352: “Work in Progress” vs “Work in Process”

Writing Tip 352: “Work in Progress” vs “Work in Process”

What does the ever-popular #wip stand for? Or maybe I should ask, what does it stand for to you? This is a tricky answer, because it depends on when in the past two hundred years you’re curious about, which side of the Atlantic you’re on, or if you’re in the manufacturing or finance industries. Yes, […]

More

Writing Tip 351: “Soul of Discretion” vs. “Sole Discretion”

Writing Tip 351: “Soul of Discretion” vs. “Sole Discretion”

A sole is a type of fish that discreetly hides in the sand of the ocean floor, but it isn’t the origin of either of these phrases. Your fingers might have the “sole” vs. “soul” debate as they dance across the keyboard, aiming for the correct spelling, but, really, it comes down to that little […]

More