Bi and Semi as Prefixes

Bi and Semi as Prefixes

If you receive a paycheck on the fifteenth and thirtieth of each month, are you paid bimonthly or semimonthly? If a newspaper is published every two weeks, it is a biweekly or a bimonthly publication? The answer is not simple. If we check Webster’s for definitions of...
Using Numbers, including Percentages

Using Numbers, including Percentages

Style manuals do not agree on the issue of when writers should spell out numbers and when they should use numerals. And even a single style manual will point out that the guidelines change according to the type of number and the context in which it is being used....
When Sentences Start with HERE or THERE

When Sentences Start with HERE or THERE

When sentences start with either here or there, creating a situation in which the verb and the subject are reversed and making it easy for writers to use singular verbs when they need plural ones (or vice versa). Can you spot any problems in these sentences? There’s...
Choosing between ANXIOUS and EAGER

Choosing between ANXIOUS and EAGER

Each of the following sentences offers a choice between anxious and eager. Which is the more accurate choice in each case? Our children are (anxious / eager) to go to Disney World, but my husband and I are (anxious / eager) about the cost of the trip. Since we had...
The Comparative and Superlative Degrees

The Comparative and Superlative Degrees

Often we hear people with two children describe one as the oldest and the other as the youngest, but those word choices are illogical and fail to understand how the comparative and superlative degrees of modifiers actually work. Here are a few more sentences to...