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...
Reading yesterday's New York Times, I came upon the word polymath, and I couldn't confidently determine its meaning from the context. Can you define the word? Here's how The NYT used it:  The debut season of "Atlanta," the FX series created by the polymath Donald Glover, will probably be remembered for its most ambitious, inexplicable gags....
The other day my fitness coach went online to pay a $250 deposit on her daughter's high school trip. She found the website and the correct trip, clicked the link to pay $250, and then faced a cell marked Amount. In a hurry, she typed 250, the amount of her...
The other day I was reading a movie review, and a character in the film was described twice as redoubtable. Before you read on, answer this question: What does redoubtable mean?        Need some help? So did I. I had no idea what redoubtable meant. And I'm an English major, business writing expert, and...
I just finished reading another excellent mystery by Louise Penny: The Beautiful Mystery. Penny's series of Inspector Gamache mysteries, which take place in Québec, gets better and better with each volume. I'm always looking forward to the next one.  This time I read a library book. To my surprise, a previous reader wrote in the...