Names: Making Them Plural and NOT Possessive

Names: Making Them Plural and NOT Possessive

As the holiday season approaches each year and people gear up to send holiday greeting cards, we need a reminder about how to make last names plural. (Hint: Doing so does NOT involve an apostrophe.) If we stop to think about it, most of us will remember that...
Not All Are and All Are Not Are Not the Same

Not All Are and All Are Not Are Not the Same

Precision in language is critical. If we misplace even a single word or phrase, we risk changing the meaning of our sentence significantly. Such is the case with the difference between the phrases “not all are” and “all are not.” Often we hear...
Split Infinitives: Are They Really So Bad?

Split Infinitives: Are They Really So Bad?

Most of us were taught never to split infinitives, but writers have been splitting them anyway—even long before Star Trek provided us with perhaps the most famous split infinitive, “to boldly go.” Those of us taught to regard the split infinitive as anathema...
Hyphenating Compound Words

Hyphenating Compound Words

When two words come together to create a single new idea that expresses meaning different from that of either of the individual words, the result is a compound word. Sometimes compound words include hyphens (not to be confused with em dashes or en dashes, which we...
Only Can’t Go Just Anywhere

Only Can’t Go Just Anywhere

Can you spot potential ambiguity in any of these sentences? The budget can only be balanced if programs are cut for next year. Many animals hibernate in the winter, only waking occasionally for nourishment. The team only scored two runs in the first seven innings. In...