Articles

Uncharted vs. Unchartered

Uncharted vs. Unchartered

The corona-virus disease pandemic, which started late in 2019 (thus the name COVID-19), has given rise to increased use of a few confusing phrases and grammatical constructions. Do we have, for example, less cases than yesterday or fewer? Do we say that the number of...

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The Five-Paragraph Essay Myth

The Five-Paragraph Essay Myth

In our educational journey, we likely learned some myths about writing.  One pernicious myth is the bane of many college English professors' existence: the belief that writers should always employ the five-paragraph essay template—a rigid model compelling the writer...

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Starting Sentences with “And” or “But”

Starting Sentences with “And” or “But”

One of our subscribers wrote to ask about starting sentences with and or but. She wondered whether it is considered grammatically correct to do so. The answer is yes. The operative word here, though, is sentences. Notice the difference between these two examples: Two...

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Parallel Structure

Parallel Structure

Whenever our writing includes a list, the items in that list need to be parallel with one another. That is, all of the items in a list must be the same, both logically and grammatically. Logically Parallel Lists First, the items in a list must be parallel in meaning....

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Regarding “Irregardless”

Regarding “Irregardless”

I could sum up my advice on this word in a single sentence: avoid using irregardless, especially in professional contexts. Although you will often hear and read the word irregardless, it is considered substandard, largely because it is illogical: that is, regardless...

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