Writing Tip 392: “Sick” vs. “Sic” (or “Sick ‘Em” vs. “Sic ‘Em”)

Writing Tip 392: “Sick” vs. “Sic” (or “Sick ‘Em” vs. “Sic ‘Em”)

I have dreams of someday someone opening up my grammar book and saying, “dude, that’s sick,” with “sick” meaning awesome. If they said, “it’s [sic],” I’d be super bummed. So bummed I would “sick” or “sic” a dog after them? No. That seems a bit over the top, don’t you think? But I needed to […]

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Writing Tip 391: “Manila” vs. “Vanilla” Folders

Writing Tip 391: “Manila” vs. “Vanilla” Folders

I find it fascinating when typos are so common that online stores consider them and can redirect these mistakes to what you actually need. Maybe home improvement stores do this with spigots already when someone searches for a “spicket,” but what’s gotten my attention lately is the mistake of “manila” vs. “vanilla” folders. Do you […]

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Writing Tip 390: “Piecemeal” vs. “Piecemail” vs. “Peacemeal”

Writing Tip 390: “Piecemeal” vs. “Piecemail” vs. “Peacemeal”

If a “happy meal” once made you excited as a kid, would a “peace meal” make you excited as a grown up? “Happy” is good, but “peace” is a larger group undertaking. I know it’s not that simple, but I like the idea of a “peace meal,” even if this isn’t the actual spelling of […]

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Writing Tip 389: “Line up” vs. “Lineup” vs. “Line-up”

Writing Tip 389: “Line up” vs. “Lineup” vs. “Line-up”

Think fast, should it be one or two words? Or should it be hyphenated? “Line up” or “lineup” or “line-up”? It’s one of those language questions that can have you staring at the blinking cursor on your screen. Hopefully, this quandary isn’t one that crosses the line of something that has you blinking and cursing […]

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Writing Tip 388: “Mother Load” vs. “Mother Lode”

Writing Tip 388: “Mother Load” vs. “Mother Lode”

Mother earth. Mother ships. Mother of all spelling confusions. Okay, maybe, it’s not the biggest of errors, but do you know whether to write “mother load” vs. “mother lode”? I get the confusion. It’s not just a lot. It’s a massive amount. It’s the mother of all quantities. A “load” makes sense. But the problem […]

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Writing Tip 387: “Among” vs. “Amongst”

Writing Tip 387: “Among” vs. “Amongst”

Sometimes, one word just feels better than another. It’s your gut speaking to you—and maybe there is logic connected to that instinct, but maybe not. It’s your gut, not your brain after all. So many of our language choices come this way. You don’t have to know English language grammar jargon to communicate well. (You […]

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Writing Tip 386: “Troubleshooted” vs. “Troubleshot”

Writing Tip 386: “Troubleshooted” vs. “Troubleshot”

Does “troubleshot” make you think of that photo bomb that wasn’t your wisest decision? Is it a penalty kick in a tied game? Does it make you think of that last two ounces of tequila that you just shouldn’t have agreed to? I’m okay with these definitions. I think they are all “trouble-shots” in their […]

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