Writing Tip 345: “Spatter” vs. “Splatter”

Writing Tip 345: “Spatter” vs. “Splatter”

Before April showers bring May flowers, there are a lot of puddles around. If you’re inclined to splash around in your galoshes, you need to know the difference between “spatter” vs. “splatter.” Neither are misspellings. And there is a difference. Take a moment with this one. Any guesses? Here’s a hint: “Splatter” appears to actually be […]

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"Loaves" or "Loafs"

Writing Tip 344: “Loaves” or “Loafs”

Half of a loaf may be better than none, as the saying goes, but for those lucky enough to have more than one loaf, do you know how to pluralize this noun? Spellcheck isn’t going to help you. Neither are similar words that end in “s.” “Knife” becomes “knives,” and “dwarf” becomes “dwarfs” after all. […]

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Writing Tip 343: “Through the Wringer” or “Through the Ringer”

Writing Tip 343: “Through the Wringer” or “Through the Ringer”

Let’s talk about “Ring” vs. “Wring” and “Rung” vs. “Wrung.” I think that’s the best place to start with this idiom that is misspelled so often. I know spelling can sometimes put you “through the wringer” (or is it “through the ringer”?), but it’s time to pay attention and get this right. If you’re wringing your hands […]

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"Raise" vs. "Raze"

Writing Tip 342: “Raise” vs. “Raze”

You could raise the roof, or you could raze the roof. Just know there’s a big difference between the two. Word pairs that sound the same (homophones) aren’t often antonyms, but “Raise” vs. “Raze” is one of those rare pairings where correct spelling is essential. Imagine a city planner walking into a meeting of community […]

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Naval Gazing vs Navel Gazing

Writing Tip 341: “Naval Gazing” vs. “Navel-Gazing”

If you’re doing lots of naval-gazing, maybe you’re missing a sailor or maybe you’re a spy. But I’m guessing it might just be a typo if you’re writing about excessive introspection. “Navel-gazing,” meaning the contemplation of your own thoughts, concerns, and existence (often to a self-absorbed degree), was first used in 1959, but oh, the […]

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Writing Tip 340: Do you “nash,” “knash,” or “gnash” your teeth?

Writing Tip 340: Do you “nash,” “knash,” or “gnash” your teeth?

You’ve heard it said, but do you know how to spell it? This is another case of the English language being funky and you over-thinking your knowledge of the the nick of time, knots, gnats, and other words with spellings that sound like they should simply begin with the letter “n.”

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Writing Tip 339: “Bitter Cold” vs. “Bitterly Cold”

Writing Tip 339: “Bitter Cold” vs. “Bitterly Cold”

When local television news viewers start calling out meteorologists on their weather-specific grammar, you know people are in that end-of-winter, dark, gloomy, living-in-their-long-johns state of mind. Allow me to come to the defense of on-air weather personalities everywhere to say that “bitter cold” and “bitterly cold” are both correct. However, there is a difference to […]

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