GrammarPhile Blog

Look Smart Using These Words Properly

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Sep 4, 2013 5:30:00 AM

We're keeping things simple this week. Check out these words and make sure you are using them correctly.

Former, first. Former refers to the first of two persons or things. When more than two are mentioned, use first.
  • He has skied behind a MasterCraft and a Ski Centurion, but he prefers the former.
  • She has driven a Bronco, a Suburban, and a 4Runner, but she prefers the first. 
Farther, further. Farther refers to actual distance; further refers to figurative distance and means "to a greater degree" or "to a greater extent."
  • The trip to Frye's Leap was farther (in actual distance) than we expected.
  • Let's discuss the plan for the tournament further (to a greater extent) next week. 
Except. When except is a preposition, be sure to use the objective form of a pronoun that follows.
  • Everyone has the flu except Mortimer and me. (NOT: Mortimer and I.) 

Non, un. According to the Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary, most words with the prefixes non and un are not hyphenated.
  • nonfattening, nonbeliever, noncorporate, noncorrosive, noncreative, noncritical, nonliterary, nonalcoholic. (BUT: non-Jewish, non-Russian.)
  • uncoordinated, uninformed, unindexed, unintended, unintelligible, unwon, unwrinkled, unwounded. (BUT: un-American.)
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Topics: misused words

Video: Common words that people always confuse!

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jun 20, 2013 5:30:00 AM

 

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Topics: misused words, Video

Do You Know These Words?

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Jan 9, 2013 6:30:00 AM

We think it was Mark Twain who said, "Better to keep silent and let people just think you're an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." That could be true in writing as well.

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Topics: misused words

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

Word Choices

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Apr 19, 2011 5:30:00 AM

Always be sure you're using the right word. If you're not sure, don't use it! Here's a great list from Woe Is I.

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Topics: misused words, word usage, word meaning

Give Us Examples of Bad Grammar or Writing in Publications

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Dec 7, 2010 5:30:00 AM

Thanks for reading our GrammarPhile blog.

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Topics: misspelled words, misspellings, misused words, word usage

Mother, May I?

Posted by Kimberly Largent   Nov 16, 2010 4:30:00 AM

Everyone remembers that childhood game, right? The one where you couldn’t take a step forward unless you asked the game leader, “Mother, May I?” Funny how we were grammatical as children, but we lost that ability as we aged.

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Topics: misused words, word usage, grammar

Wrong Words Make Bad First Impression

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Oct 26, 2010 10:41:00 AM

Making sales today is tough business. Finding jobs is even tougher. And though everybody is allowed a mistake here and there, the gatekeepers to both sales and jobs are clamping down on proposals and resumes, and even speech patterns. They're saying to themselves more and more, "Make the first pass easier by simply eliminating the ones with mistakes." So you want to avoid mistakes! Here are some more tips on making the right choice in words:

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Topics: errors, misused words, proposals

Most Confusing Two Letter Word

Posted by Conni Eversull   Oct 12, 2010 4:30:00 AM

I received the following from one of our editors, Marie Stewart. Neither Marie nor I could find information about the author of this piece although we found it quite a few times on the Internet without any attribution.

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Topics: misused words, two letter word

Often-Confused Words

Posted by Phil Jamieson   Oct 5, 2010 4:30:00 AM

Well, the words aren't confused, but sometimes people who use them are. Our job today is to help you avoid confusing the following words, some of which we've seen even in documents processed by our editors THIS VERY DAY!

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Topics: misused words

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