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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Mrs., Ms., Miss: Understanding the Difference

Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at 6:00 am

We all at some point have addressed someone as Ms., Miss, or Mrs. We may also have a general idea about when to use these forms of address in American English, as well as to whom we should express them. At the same time, it's good to further understand the distinction among these references so …

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What Is the Plural of Bus?

Posted on Monday, May 2, 2022, at 6:00 am

You need to get across town and you're not in a hurry. Should you rush to catch your bus, or will there be another one arriving soon after? While you're plumbing this question, other ones jump to mind: What word would you use to identify more than one bus, and how would you spell it? …

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Is It Mother’s Day, Mothers’ Day, or Mothers Day?

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2022, at 6:00 am

As the second Sunday of May approaches, we are reminded again of the importance of motherhood. The holiday dedicated to mothers was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and later made an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Its origin can be traced to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but the foundation of the modern holiday …

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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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Adverbial Examples: What They Are and How to Use Them

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 6:00 am

Are you familiar with adverbials? If you're interested in knowing more about what they are and how they're used, we can help you refine that part of your grammar. In this discussion we'll review adverbials and provide examples to reinforce your understanding. Let's begin with the definition. What Are Adverbials? A verb is an action …

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Colon vs. Semicolon

Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at 6:00 am

English provides us with punctuation as a system of symbols and signs that allow us to structure, pace, and clarify communication. When used correctly, punctuation contributes to succinct and persuasive writing (the word punctuation originates from the Latin punctuare, which means “making a point”). When used incorrectly, it can confuse and even repel our readers. …

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What Is a Noun Clause?

Posted on Monday, April 18, 2022, at 6:00 am

American English grammar includes many components we use every day but may not always examine. For instance, you probably say, write, and hear noun clauses constantly even if you wouldn't be instantly ready to explain what they are. In this article we'll review the definition of a noun clause. We'll also look at its parts …

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Writing Zip Codes

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 6:00 am

We at times receive questions concerning the proper way to address outbound mail and, in particular, use zip codes. Because your goal and ours is to achieve precision in writing, we'll take a closer look at zip codes and how you can treat them in your correspondence. What Is a ZIP Code? Zip codes today …

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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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The Plural of Octopus: Are We Using Proper English?

Posted on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 6:00 am

An octopus is a marine cephalopod mollusk that has a soft body and eight arms. What word should we use if we are referring to more than one of these invertebrate animals? Two Ways to Spell the Plural of Octopus Unlike many words in the English language, the word octopus has more than one spelling …

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