Grammar |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Effective Writing

Top 10 Grammar Mistakes in English

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at 6:00 am

Grammar mistakes remain common in daily communication. While those of us who spend time at can reduce such solecisms, even the most observant can still potentially be duped by the occasional sneaky error. Because grammar mistakes in American English have always been and likely always will be, we thought it'd be fun and informative …

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Sibilance: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at 6:00 am

The art of language embraces sound just as it does precision and eloquence of written expression. For example, along the way we've discussed alliteration, which is the repetition of two or more neighboring sounds of words, often initial letters, to create a phonetic device: simple story accept and excel The repeating alliterative sounds occur either …

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Consonance: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 6:00 am

The impact of language is often just as much about its sound as its meanings and organization of words. When used with skill and well-aimed subtlety, certain devices in American English can add extra voice and harmony to our writing. Read the following aloud to yourself: If we're lucky, the truck's gear shift won't get …

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Elision: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 6:00 am

If you care to be honest, you'll admit that Delilah is a ne'er-do-well. Ralph should probably offer to share that ham sandwich, or Billy Ray is gonna snatch it from him anyway. Coulda, shoulda, woulda: This is what happens when we don't change the oil. Many of us who use American English have probably read, …

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Assonance: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at 6:00 am

Language provides more than the means to express and deliver ideas and information. It also bears the power to please us through the tools we use to shape it. Thoughtful, eloquent communication can satisfy the outer and inner ear as much as awaken the mind. One technique that attracts us to writing and speech is …

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Alliteration: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at 6:00 am

Writing reflects music in that it offers its own types of accents for a composition's structure and sound. They are not central features but rather grace notes that can add melody, rhythm, and voice to our sentences. One such grace note in writing is alliteration: the repetition of two or more neighboring sounds of words, …

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Using sic in 2024

Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, at 6:00 am

An item that still periodically surfaces among readers is the proper use of sic. SicĀ is a Latin term meaning "so, thus." A complete word that requires no punctuation or abbreviation, it is found only in direct quotations and other directly quoted material to indicate that something was communicated "in this manner." Writers include it …

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What Is Syntax?

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at 6:00 am

The capacity to write, read, speak, and hear expressive language is exclusive to human beings: There is no other ability like it among Earth's living creatures. To use this system of communication, we must have an ordered, understood structure of linguistic elements: a syntax that allows us to deliver and receive patterns of words with …

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Here Is vs. Here Are

Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 6:00 am

Many of us have probably written or spoken statements such as: Here's the keys to the car. Here are those toothpicks you asked for. Here's the ten baseball cards I owe you. Here is the article I told you about. They are common forms of expression in American English. When spoken, most of these remarks …

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Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at 6:00 am

Writing allows us extra room to infuse our expressions with an eloquence that would otherwise sound ill-suited when we're speaking. Where simple, declarative language often favors comfort and trust in conversation, techniques that are more affecting can infuse written language with style, voice, and even emotion when applied properly. One such structure is what is …

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