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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Spelling

Cacti or Cactuses: What’s the Plural of Cactus?

Posted on Monday, April 11, 2022, at 6:00 am

Suppose you are writing a science-fiction novel in which spiky plants come to life in the desert. They uproot themselves and begin pursuing your hero. As they bear down, how would you refer to them: as cacti, cactuses, or something else? In other words, what's the plural of cactus? The Plural of Cactus The origin …

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Where vs. Were: Do You Know the Difference?

Posted on Monday, March 7, 2022, at 6:00 am

Where and were are words that look and sound similar. That's probably why they could be easy to confuse sometimes. If you want to know the difference—and, more important, consistently use the right word in context—this brief discussion will provide what you're looking for. Let's start with a definition of each word, and then we'll …

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What Are Anagram Words? (With Examples)

Posted on Monday, February 28, 2022, at 6:00 am

You may have heard of an anagram or anagram words. They may appear in puzzles and quiz questions, as well as on the occasional game show. So what are they and how do they work? Anagrams are words or phrases that can be formed from the letters of other words. For example, both night and …

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Bear With Me or Bare With Me: Which Should We Write?

Posted on Monday, January 17, 2022, at 6:00 am

Sometimes two words that have similar spellings and the same pronunciation can cause confusion in our writing. You may have experienced such confusion if you have read the expressions bear with me and bare with me. When the phrase is spoken aloud, the spelling doesn't matter, and you typically understand what's being said. In writing, …

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Curb or Kerb: Which Spelling Is Correct?

Posted on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at 6:00 am

Most of us know that we're not supposed to drive or park on a street curb. We might also head to the fridge or the pantry to curb our appetite. But what should we do if we come across a kerb—in writing or in real life? Today we'll look at the words curb and kerb, …

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A While vs. Awhile: Do You Know the Difference?

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2021, at 6:00 am

A while and awhile both sound the same when spoken aloud, leading some to think that the two are the same or that one is a misspelling of the other. The two constructions—one as a two-word phrase and the other as a single word—mean different things. In today's post, we will explain the difference so …

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Anymore or Any More: Which One Is Correct?

Posted on Monday, November 15, 2021, at 6:00 am

When our favorite football team is losing often, do we write that we can't handle any more losses by them—or that we can't handle anymore losses by them? We might get confused about whether to use one word or two when we're expressing such an idea in American English. The two treatments (any more and …

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What Is an Indefinite Article?

Posted on Monday, November 8, 2021, at 6:00 am

Indefinite articles are small but integral parts of English grammar. Today we'll discuss what an indefinite article is and how it serves communication. What Is an Indefinite Article? An indefinite article is simply the word “a” or “an” used before a noun. It denotes the class to which a noun belongs but does not make …

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Crisis or Crises: What’s the Difference, and Which One Do You Need?

Posted on Friday, November 5, 2021, at 6:00 am

Both crisis and crises are correct and acceptable words to use in American English, but they also differ slightly in meaning. Today we’ll explain the difference and ensure you know which one to use in the right context. Crises Is the Plural of Crisis The word crisis is defined as “a tragedy or negative event.” …

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Is Dice Plural or Singular?

Posted on Monday, November 1, 2021, at 6:00 am

Which word do you use if you’re playing a game with more than one small, numbered cube that you have to roll? Today we’ll look at the word dice, along with some related thoughts. The Plural of Dice: Are We Using Correct English? To begin with, asking “What is the plural of dice?” is a …

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