Beware the One-Word Misplaced Modifier

Beware the One-Word Misplaced Modifier

One important way that writers distinguish themselves as careful thinkers is by ensuring that every modifier they employ is placed as closely as possible to the word they intend to modify. Fuzzy placement implies fuzzy thinking. As you may recall from high school...

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Punctuating with Parentheses

Punctuating with Parentheses

This site addresses a number of punctuation issues, including punctuating with quotation marks, choosing between parentheses and dashes, using the semicolon and colon, and deciding when to use the Oxford comma.  Here we are focusing specifically on punctuating with...

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Are You “Anxious” or “Eager”?

Are You “Anxious” or “Eager”?

The following sentences offer a choice between anxious and eager. Which word is more accurate 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. Having heard on the morning news...

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Feel Good? Feel Well?

Feel Good? Feel Well?

When we’re feeling healthy and happy, should we say we feel good or we feel well?  The short answer is that either is fine, but we need to take a deeper dive if we want to use good and well appropriately in other contexts, too. Many of us were taught the partial truth...

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Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are words that refer to—you guessed it—a collection of individuals (people or animals) or things taken as a whole. Though these words appear singular, they represent a group; examples include team, jury, faculty, class, choir, family, and committee....

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