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Julie DeSilva

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A Semicolon Example: When to Use or Not

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Jun 26, 2012 5:30:00 AM

It's an unusual water ski, no one knows much about it is an example of the so-called comma fault--using a comma to connect two independent clauses. The comma is not a connector; it is a separator. The semicolon, however, can function as both a connector and a separator, and at the same time: It's an unusual water ski; no one knows much about it. If we use a comma, then we have to supply a connector--that is, a conjunction such as and: It's an unusual water ski, and no one knows much about it.

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Topics: parallel structure, parallelism, punctuation, conjunctions

Plurals and Punctuation of Numbers

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Jun 5, 2012 6:30:00 AM

If I had only one day left to live, I would live it in my tenth-grade math class, because it would seem like infinity. If numbers do the same to you, fear not: you can master them by knowing the rules.

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Topics: numbers, punctuation

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Posted by Julie DeSilva   May 22, 2012 6:30:00 AM

Does anybody really care? It's high time you did! And you should also care how time is specified so your documents are second to none, precisely crafted, and, er, processed like clockwork! Benjamin Franklin said, "lost time is never found again." Save editing time with these tips for time treatment from The Chicago Manual of Style.

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Topics: numbers, time of day, time

Word Breakdown or Politics as Usual

Posted by Julie DeSilva   May 8, 2012 6:30:00 AM

In America, the political season is fast descending on our daily routine. The news programs are replete with candidates posturing, posing, and preening. Listed below are some of the vacant phrases we may hear in the coming months. Here's hoping that some of those running for office would heed Mark Twain's advice about keeping quiet instead of speaking.

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Topics: misused words, word usage

Words, Words, Words

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Apr 10, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Your choice of words will affect your job rating. It will affect the options you have regarding your career. Most important, it will affect the "readability" of your next newsletter, Web page, brochure, or proposal. So choose your words wisely!

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Topics: continuously and continually, presently, each other and one another, if and whether, in behalf of and on behalf of, liable and likely

Split Infinitives

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Mar 27, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Split infinitives have often been the source of much debate among teachers, grammarians, and those who wish to use the most proper of speech. It has been said that an infinitive should never be split.

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Topics: split infinitive, infinitives

Myth: Don't Repeat Words; Use Synonyms Instead

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Feb 28, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Going out of your way to avoid using a word you have already used a few words earlier was useful advice when you were writing school papers and one of your goals was to impress your English teachers with the size and range of your vocabulary. It is also a good principle to follow when it comes to certain types of words and expressions-phrases such as "on the other hand," "to make a long story short," "of course" - and, in particular, "like" and "you know."

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Topics: synonyms, repeating words, writing myth, myth

Right Words, Wrong Words

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Feb 14, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Good - well. Good is an adjective. Well is typically used as an adverb but may be used as an adjective to refer to the state of someone's health.

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Topics: adverbs, adjectives

Merriam Webster and OED Are Off the Chain!

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Jan 31, 2012 5:30:00 AM

In 2011 Merriam-Webster added more than 150 new words to the dictionary, including social media and bromance. And the Oxford English Dictionary added such phrases as light-bulb moment and environmentally unfriendly.

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Topics: vocabulary, dictionary, trends in language

Who, Which, and That

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Jan 17, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Recall from last week that who is used when you need a subject, and whom when you need an objective pronoun. But in addition to who, there are other subjective pronouns. Select who when the individual or the individuality of the group is meant, and that when a class, species, or type is meant.

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Topics: who, which, or that, subjective pronouns, objective pronouns

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