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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Writing Tip 377: “Pickup” vs “Pick Up” vs “Pick-up”

Writing Tip 377: “Pickup” vs “Pick Up” vs “Pick-up”

If you’re hoping it’ll be a pick-me-up to be picked up by a pickup, you surely must have a handle on your language. But just in case you’re slightly baffled and would rather go find a pick-up game you’d rather be a part of, let’s take a moment to pick through these possibilities. They’re always […]

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Writing Tip 376: “Ground” vs. “Grinded”

Writing Tip 376: “Ground” vs. “Grinded”

What is the past tense of “grind”? I’m asking this as someone who might grind coffee beans, not as someone dancing scandalously at a club. Yes, this changes the answer. Does that give you enough of a hint to know the difference? If you’re looking to history, there has always been the same answer to […]

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Writing Tip 375: “To pass muster” or “to pass mustard”

Writing Tip 375: “To pass muster” or “to pass mustard”

Dinner parties with a crowd you don’t know well can be complicated. Sometimes, you need to dress and act appropriately, and sometimes, you need to give your neighbor the appropriate condiment. So next time you’re worried about whether the expression is “to pass muster” or “to pass mustard,” remember:

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gauge vs gage

Writing Tip 374: “Gage” vs. “Gauge”

If you want to go zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, speed-racer, you’re going to have an eye on the tools on your dashboard. Your speedometer, your odometer, your tachometer—these are all types of what? You’ve probably got a handle on “gag,” “gaggle,” and “gouge,” but when it comes to “gage” and “gauge,” […]

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