Hank vs Hunk

Writing Tip 327: “Hank” vs. “Hunk”

Just when you think I’m going to be writing this tip about a guy named Hank who may or may not be a dreamy hunk, think again. There are two words that mean a section of something, and these two words are “hank” and “hunk”; however, there’s a big difference between their two meanings. And […]

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“now a days” vs. “nowadays” - dumbfounded monkeys

Writing Tip 326: “Now a Days” vs. “Nowadays” vs. “Nowdays”

Sometimes, when it comes to spelling, we might feel like we’re in a daze, especially when it comes to words that we hear said more than we see written. If you were writing this phrase in the fourteenth century—if you were lucky enough to know how to read or write in that era—you would have […]

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Writing Tip 325: Not to “Mix” or “Mince” Words

Writing Tip 325: Not to “Mix” or “Mince” Words

When it comes to the English language, it’s easy to get things mixed up, but this time, I’m asking you to “mince” it up. Why, you ask? No, I’m not making mincemeat pies, nor am I apprenticing with a butcher. I say this because there is a difference between “mixing words” and “mincing words,” and […]

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"Tack" vs. "Tact"

Writing Tip 324: “Tack” vs. “Tact”

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 […]

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“Scotch Free” vs. “Scot Free”

Writing Tip 323: “Scotch Free” vs. “Scot Free”

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 […]

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Writing Tip 232: “Complimentative” vs. “Complimentary”

Writing Tip 232: “Complimentative” vs. “Complimentary”

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.

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Staff is vs staff are

Writing Tip 231: “Staff is” vs. “Staff are”

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, […]

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