Effect or Affect?

Effect or Affect?

We deal with many confusing word pairs on this site, including lay and lie, I and me, and bad and badly. This article helps us distinguish between effect and affect, two words that cause a great deal of trouble because each of them can serve as a noun or a verb. Which...
Parentheses and Punctuation

Parentheses and Punctuation

This site addresses a number of punctuation issues, including punctuating with quotation marks, using the semicolon and colon, and deciding when to use the Oxford comma.  Here we are focusing specifically on using commas and periods (and other punctuation) with...
Semicolons

Semicolons

Semicolons have two functions: First, they are used to separate items in lists when one or more of those items has internal commas.  As such, they function more or less like commas on steroids. In their second function, however, they are more like periods because they...
Lie or Lay?

Lie or Lay?

This website addresses a number of confusing word pairs, including effect and affect, sit and set, and bad and badly, just to name a few. But none are more confusing than lie and lay. These verbs have traditionally held very different meanings. Simply put, to lie...
Quotation Marks and Punctuation: Inside or Outside?

Quotation Marks and Punctuation: Inside or Outside?

With the possible exception of the Oxford/Harvard/serial comma, very few usage issues elicit responses as passionate as the topic of punctuating with quotation marks. American vs. British Conventions If I were in charge of writing the rules about the use of quotation...