GrammarPhile Blog

Conni Eversull

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How to Know When to Use a Hyphen

Posted by Conni Eversull   Mar 2, 2017 7:30:00 AM

 

Don’t believe what you’ve heard or seen. The hyphen is not dead. Its use has been declining, but mostly in the realm of joining common nouns. In 2007, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary eliminated hyphens from 16,000 entries. Bumble-bee became bumblebee, science books mention test tube instead of test-tube, and cry-baby joined to form one word.

The first recorded hyphen showed up in the work of Dionysius Thrax, the original grammarian. Back then, it was a tie-like (‿) sign used to join two words that one would otherwise have read separately. Then came letter-spacing in the Middle Ages, and the hyphen came to symbolize a connector between two words that had been incorrectly spliced by a space. We have Johannes Gutenberg to thank for the modern version of the hyphen. When setting his famous Bible, his tools wouldn’t let him include the hyphen below letters, so he moved it up to the middle of the line (Wikipedia).

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Topics: hyphenation, hyphen

In Celebration of Groundhog Day - Redundant Phrases

Posted by Conni Eversull   Feb 1, 2017 7:30:00 AM

 


Tomorrow marks the official day when furry little Punxsutawney Phil supposedly forecasts the arrival of the spring season. But for some movie enthusiasts and Bill Murray fans, Groundhog Day refers to something entirely different. That something is a 1993 cult classic movie where Murray’s character finds himself repeating the same day over and over. To celebrate, we’ve pulled together a list of redundant phrases. Save yourself the repetition and drop these from your vocabulary.

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Topics: redundancy, redundant phrases

Easily Confused Words - Answers to Last Week's Quiz

Posted by Conni Eversull   Jan 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM

 

Still feeling exhausted from last week’s exhausting quiz featuring an exhaustive list of easily confused words? Then we’ll get right to the answers! But first, congratulations to Holly Hammond who was the first person to answer all questions correctly. Holly wins a $25 Amazon gift card.

This quiz stumped 91% of those who answered. 9% of respondents correctly answered all ten questions. Now onto the answers.

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Topics: quiz answers, quiz

Quiz: Easily Confused Words

Posted by Conni Eversull   Jan 11, 2017 7:30:00 AM

 

We’re not sure if this quiz will give you anxiety or angst, or both, or just one, or neither…? That’s the beauty of the English language – words that look alike, sound alike, and sort of mean the same thing, but not at all. This quiz features easily confused words that when swapped for each other can lead to confusion and embarrassment.

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Topics: quiz, confusing words

Embarrassing Grammar Errors in 2016

Posted by Conni Eversull   Dec 28, 2016 7:30:00 AM

All of us made grammar mistakes in 2016, whether we realized and corrected them immediately or still have no idea about them. But for those writers that publish their work in a public forum or those unfortunate souls whose mistakes get passed around on the internet until thousands of people are laughing, these mistakes made for some of the best grammar gaffes this year.

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Topics: commas, typos, typographic errors, grammar errors, Oxford comma, headline errors

16-ACROSS or 27-DOWN: Answers to Last Week's Quiz

Posted by Conni Eversull   Dec 7, 2016 7:30:00 AM

 

Let’s see if you’re ready to pick up the Saturday New York Times and conquer every single clue. There were 20% of you who correctly answered all of the questions in last week’s quiz, but Barbara Poole earns bragging rights for being the first to submit her quiz answers and getting them all correct. Very impressive.

Here are the correct responses and explanations, so the next time someone asks you “What’s another word for “sass,” you’ll have the answer.

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Topics: quiz answers, quiz

Implement the Art of Storytelling in Your Business Communications

Posted by Conni Eversull   Nov 16, 2016 7:30:00 AM

 

Most of us think that a story is fictional, something that doesn’t belong within the same realm as business deals and communications. We have multiple emails to send, meetings to attend, events to host, and reports to analyze. There isn’t time for fairytales!

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Topics: business writing, writing tips, business communications

5 Ways to Get Your Point Across in Business Emails

Posted by Conni Eversull   Oct 6, 2016 12:00:00 PM

If you use email as part of your job, you know what a pain it can be to sort through the daily onslaught. Endless “Re: re: re: re:” chains are just the tip of the iceberg – it just gets worse from there.

But here’s the important point: Everyone you email is in the same situation, and some of the messages they deem unimportant might be the ones you send. How do you get around that? How can you ensure that your message gets seen and understood by the intended recipients?

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Topics: proofreading, email, email marketing

What Do Typos Say About You?

Posted by Conni Eversull   Sep 21, 2016 7:30:00 AM


Professional proofreaders tend to focus on formal documents: books, news and feature articles, marketing copy, legal contracts, et cetera. But (as far as we know) nobody pays a proofreader to check their personal or work emails. They’re usually composed on the fly and sent without so much as a once-over. Because the brain tends to focus on concepts rather than details when you’re writing, even the most conscientious communicator can fall victim to typos.

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Topics: typos, typographic errors

Why Proofreaders Can't Do Everything

Posted by Conni Eversull   Aug 10, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Many business disputes stem from misaligned expectations: Each party thinks it understands what should result from an agreed-upon transaction, but the results leave one or both parties unsatisfied. Proofreading is no exception, which is why it’s important to know going in what you can expect from your editors – and what you can’t.

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Topics: proofreading, what proofreaders don't do, what to expect from proofreaders

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