Rules & Exceptions: Who to Listen to

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Rules & Exceptions: Who to Listen to

rules and exceptionsWe’ve made it clear on multiple occasions that the English language is full of rules with little logic and lots of exceptions. Isn’t that a lovely combination?

There are so many experts out there whose opinions on the same delicate grammar and punctuation matters vary. So who do we listen to? Webster and Oxford don’t even spell all their words the same way. They’re both correct, though. Is one more correct than the other? That also depends on who you ask. Oh the joys of grey areas!

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The Difference One Missed Letter Makes

one missing letterYou’d think that when you accidentally miss a letter whilst typing really quickly that the intent of the writing doesn’t get lost. Sometimes the words are still correct, so autocorrect or spellcheck don’t pick up on them. That’s when you’re in trouble, because some of these differences can range from embarrassing to reputation-altering given their context.

As the following examples illustrate, one letter can completely change the meaning of words. So either watch your words very closely or utilize the services of someone who is trained to spot such details (wink, wink).

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Shame on you, Oxford Dictionary.

UnknownThe Oxford Dictionary named the “tears of joy” emoji as their word of the year.

As the world’s authority on language, you’ve set verbal discourse back years, decades, dare we say millennia. You’re essentially saying that communicating via pictogram is the way of the future. And they’re not even good pictograms like the Egyptian hieroglyphics where everyone’s facing left. No, they’re “Have a Nice Day” happy faces.

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Editors’ Most Hated Mistakes – Part 2

Editors’ Most Hated MistakesAs promised, we’ve compiled a new crop of editing nightmares for those who share the frustration. These cringe-inducing habits are the literary equivalent of socks and sandals. Seeing them can render even the most verbose wordsmith speechless (and they always have something wise to say). Without further ado, here they are in no particular order. Kindly do not follow suit.

Saying till Instead of until

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Writing for Work vs. Writing for Pleasure

Writing for Work vs. Writing for PleasureWriting is writing is writing. Right? Wrong. In so many ways, all the types of pen to ink find their differences. In this instance, we’re talking about the actual writing process. The following is a direct comparison of how various aspects of the writing process differ when done for pleasure and when done for work. Agree or disagree as you please.


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Not Everyone is an Editor

Not Everyone is an EditorWhat? You mean to say that my friend who taught fifth-grade English once isn’t qualified to edit my entrance essay to an Ivy League school? Right. And neither is your friend who taught ESL abroad for a year after finishing university.

Just because you have experience with words or love to read (both great qualities, no doubt) doesn’t mean you should be advertising yourself as an editor. A lot of people think they know everything that editing entails just because they know the difference between your and you’re or between a conjunction and a conjugation. Congratulations! You’re literate. You’re still not an editor.

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