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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Effective Writing

Misplaced Modifiers: What They Are and How to Fix Them

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, at 6:00 am

Imagine you are reading the police-report section of your community newspaper. Someone has been committing a rash of local burglaries. The description in the report says, "The man is identified as being age 20 to 25 and approximately 5'9" to 6' tall with shoulder-length blond hair weighing 160 to 170 pounds." You furrow your brow …

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Using Nor Properly

Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 6:00 am

Those who enjoy and study grammar often do so because they are inspired by the clear and eloquent expression of thoughts. They understand that when we open our mouths, put pen to paper, or begin to type, our minds are on parade. Precision in writing and speech involves the steady acquisition of grammatical details, or …

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Regards, Best Regards, or Kind Regards: What Is the Best Usage for Each?

Posted on Monday, February 21, 2022, at 6:00 am

Most of us have probably seen the word regards at the end of an e-mail or letter—or possibly a variation such as best regards or kind regards. But some people might not always be ready to explain what regards actually means or when the best time to use each version might be. Today we'll look …

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What Is an Idiom? (With Examples and Usage)

Posted on Friday, December 10, 2021, at 6:00 am

Idioms are a big part of language—as well as a common source of confusion, particularly for non-native speakers. Because idioms are used so often in communications from emails to text messages to daily conversations, understanding them is important to mastering American English. In today's post we'll explain what idioms are and how they work, as …

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Cultural Identity

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, at 6:00 am

The last couple of years have seen a greater emphasis on how we refer to and write about cultural identity in a wonderfully diverse country such as the U.S. In this discussion, we'll share some current style guidance you can consider. When we seek reinforcement for certain style items at GrammarBook.com, we most often refer …

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Negative Words

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at 6:00 am

Negation provides us the means of expressing the opposite of a word, thought, or idea. It can include words such as: no nothing not neither none nowhere no one never nobody Let's look at a few examples: I agree with what she said. I do not agree with what she said. Everyone loves paying taxes. …

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Euphemisms: What Is a Euphemism?

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2021, at 6:00 am

Some people may not be able to say what a euphemism is, but there’s a good chance they often use euphemisms, including sometimes without being aware. In today’s grammar post, we’ll explain what euphemisms are and how to use them. What Exactly Is a Euphemism? A euphemism is a mild term—typically an idiomatic one—that’s used …

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Acronyms: What Is an Acronym?

Posted on Friday, October 8, 2021, at 6:00 am

Do you know the definition of the word acronym? Even if you couldn’t explain it the way a dictionary would, you probably know many acronyms and use them every day. In today’s post, we will review the definition and usage of acronyms so you can add them to your grammar toolbox. What Exactly Is an …

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Synonyms: What Is a Synonym?

Posted on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 6:00 am

Have you come across the word synonym and not been sure what it means? Or do you have somewhat of an idea of the definition but nothing specific enough to provide an example? If so, this post can help. So let’s get right to it: What is a synonym? The Meaning of Synonym A synonym …

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When Should You Use To Whom It May Concern?

Posted on Friday, September 24, 2021, at 6:00 am

The classic letter opening To Whom It May Concern was once incredibly common and popular. You might be seeing it used less often these days, which might lead you to wonder when the salutation is proper to include in a letter or email. We will address that topic and more in this discussion. The Concern …

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