Writing Tip 384: Getting down to “Brass Tacks” or “Brass Tax”?

Writing Tip 384: Getting down to “Brass Tacks” or “Brass Tax”?

Here’s that moment when you pause and think: pennies are made of copper; nickels are made of nickel. Is there a coin made of brass? Or is there some brass purchasing tax we just aren’t aware of? Or was it something of a different era? Did Robin Hood steal money from the rich and give […]

More

Writing Tip 383: Apostrophes with “Years of Experience” & “Years’ Experience”

Writing Tip 383: Apostrophes with “Years of Experience” & “Years’ Experience”

Resume writers can be baffled about where to put the apostrophe (or not) when writing about the experience of their years. Is there an apostrophe? Is there none? Let’s settle this one and for all. Yes. And yes. How easy is that? Wait … let’s break this down.

More

Writing Tip 382: “Frayed Nerves” or “Fried Nerves”?

Writing Tip 382: “Frayed Nerves” or “Fried Nerves”?

Your mind might feel fried, but what about your nerves? Are they fried too? Or are they something else? This is an expression that goes back a couple centuries, but sometimes, the exact wording is misheard or misspoken. Is it “Frayed Nerves” or “Fried Nerves”? And have you been saying this correctly?

More

Writing Tip 381: “Beside” vs. “Besides” the Point

Writing Tip 381: “Beside” vs. “Besides” the Point

Some English language questions feel a bit prickly, but this shouldn’t be one of them. As similar as they might appear at first glance, the debate between “beside” vs. “besides” is not similar to that of “toward” vs. “towards” or “backward” vs. “backwards.” Most of these are words that show physical relationships (ahem, “prepositions” for […]

More

Writing Tip 380: “Hurray” vs. “Hooray”

Writing Tip 380: “Hurray” vs. “Hooray”

Hip, hip, hallelujah! No, that’s not right. But how do you spell the last word of this cheer of excitement? Hooray! Hurray! Huzzah! Yep, these are all versions of the same exclamation of joy, encouragement, or approval that sometimes just has to be vocalized. The Oxford English Dictionary prefers “hooray,” noting it’s a version of […]

More

Writing Tip 379: “Distinct” vs. “Distinctive”

Writing Tip 379: “Distinct” vs. “Distinctive”

It is my distinct pleasure to dive deep into the distinct differences between “distinct” vs. “distinctive.” How do we distinguish one from the other? What is distinctive about each? How are “distinct,” “distinctive,” and “distinguished” not so distantly related? It’s time we figured this out. I know I’m not the only one who’s written the […]

More

Writing Tip 378:  “Quiver” vs. “Quaver”

Writing Tip 378: “Quiver” vs. “Quaver”

Your hand might quiver. Your voice might quaver. Your arrows might sit at the ready, but what’s their location strapped to your back called again? That’s right. The word “quiver” can be tricky because it means different things—many of which are ready to be a part of an action-packed story—but it doesn’t mean everything you […]

More