Grammar |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Spelling

Criteria vs. Criterion: Is Criterion Plural?

Posted on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 6:00 am

Many of us may be aware that criteria are factors used in making a decision or ruling. At the same time, while this word is common among us, we might not always recognize the distinction between it and its singular form, criterion. If you've ever found yourself volleying between criteria and criterion, you're in the …

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Inpatient or Impatient: Which Word Is the Right One?

Posted on Monday, July 10, 2023, at 6:00 am

English includes many words with sounds and spellings so similar they become easy to confuse. Impatient and inpatient are one such pair. If you've ever found yourself tripping between impatient and inpatient, you're in the right place. We'll explain what each word means and help ensure you can distinguish the two from now on. The …

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What Is the Plural of Basis?

Posted on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 6:00 am

Can you form the plural of the word basis without scratching your head and turning to Google? Many Americans, including native speakers, may sometimes find themselves wondering about how to refer to more than one basis. In this brief review, we'll establish the correct way to write the plural of basis, as well as how …

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Premise or Premises: Which Word Should You Use?

Posted on Monday, June 12, 2023, at 6:00 am

Premise and premises are similarly spelled and, in the midst of writing or speech, can be interchanged in ways that let them weave in and out of our writing and speech with the glide of a professional skier. Can you separate one from the other? If not, you'll gain insight here as we distinguish premise …

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Apocope Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at 6:00 am

We often use language techniques and functions in our writing and speech with such familiarity that we might not even know what they are nor what we're applying. As one more-recognizable example, when we merge will with not to form won't, we are contracting the words. Another operation we use with instinct but perhaps not …

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Getaway or Get Away: Which Word Do You Want to Use?

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2023, at 6:00 am

Do you know the difference between getaway (one word) and get away (two words)? Even native speakers of American English might get crossed up with these expressions, so we'll look at each version and how to use it precisely. That way, you won't wonder if you're getting away with using the incorrect version. Let's get …

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Burned vs. Burnt: Which Is Grammatically Correct?

Posted on Monday, May 8, 2023, at 6:00 am

If you leave something in the oven for too long, it's probably going to burn. That's frustrating, but even worse is having to make a note about it later. Was your food burned, or was it burnt? What's the distinction between the words? In this quick post, we'll discuss the differences between burned and burnt …

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A While vs. Awhile: Is There a Grammatical Difference?

Posted on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 6:00 am

If you want to write about an unspecified period of time, is it better to use a while or awhile? Is one version correct? Do they both mean the same thing? We've seen versions of this question appear in comments on our website. In today's post, we'll guide you through awhile and a while so …

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Blond or Blonde: Which Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, April 10, 2023, at 6:00 am

Imagine that you are walking down the street and you accidentally bump into someone coming from the other direction. That person continues walking. Moments later, you realize there is a fifty-dollar bill taped to your jacket. You turn around, but the person has already disappeared into a sea of others. Shortly after, you text your …

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Organization vs. Organisation: Which One Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, April 3, 2023, at 6:00 am

Let's say you're starting a group at your school or in your industry. You know you have a gathering of like-minded students or professionals. Would you refer to your group in writing as an organization or an organisation? On that note, why do we have two separate but similar spellings floating around? Let's answer that. …

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