It's easy to go through life blithely thinking your words are spot-on, especially as a writer. Then one day an error you’ve been making grabs your attention: Surprise! You’ve been using the wrong word! Maybe today will be that day. See if this test has a word surprise for...
Certainly we can admire Google for its growth, global reach, inventiveness, and the brilliance of its teams. But they've gone too far. Cleverness has its limits. Analyze, yes. Optimize, yes. Publicize, yes--those are all things online content providers want to do. But troubleshootize? No, Google, you've gone too far.     The...
The other day while giving feedback to a client on her customer-service writing, I noticed this sentence: "Once you receive your new card, please contact any merchants with whom you have reoccurring charges." Reoccurring charges? Is that correct? Or should it be “recurring charges”? What do you think?  Before I...
Today is Book Lovers Day, an unofficial holiday celebrating the love of books. It's a great excuse to relax and read.  I picked an easy book to enjoy, P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever, written by rapper Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter and illustrated by Maria Tina Beddia....
Traveling recently in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, I visited many places that told the story of slavery in the South. From the start, I noticed that presenters used the phrase enslaved people or enslaved person rather than slaves or slave. The first time I heard enslaved people...
Test your error-finding skills in each of the three short passages below. Each passage has just one error.  Passage 1: The purpose of the conversation is to recognize the common ground between members of the Republican Party and the Democrat Party in our state. We hope to come away with a...
Are you feeling smart and alert today? Test yourself in the three short passages below. Each "Error Quest" has just one error. Find and correct it.    Error Quest 1: Since you asked, this is RoAnn's and my suggestion: We believe that we should use the word programs rather than tracks. Programs fits better with our offerings...
Envious? Jealous? Do you use these words interchangeably? Or do you make a distinction between them? Test your understanding by filling in these blanks:  I am _______________ of my neighbors' gorgeous backyard.  Rob feels _______________ when he sees Carlos talking to their new supervisor so often, especially when both of them are laughing.  Natalie...
My dear friend just had major surgery in another city. Texting me to let me know how she is, her husband wrote, "She's nauseous a lot."  But is she nauseous or nauseated? What do you think?  Word sticklers distinguish between nauseous and nauseated. Because my friend was an English major in college and is...
If you create newsletter articles, HR policies, forms, reports, or other pieces that touch on current topics and data, you may catch yourself wondering about word choice: transgender or transgendered? Eskimo or Inuit? Survivor or victim? The latest AP Stylebook (The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law 2018), which came out last month, features...