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 a hyphen (not to be confused with em dashes or en dashes, which we...
The Word ONLY Can’t Go Just Anywhere

The Word ONLY Can’t Go Just Anywhere

Sometimes we aren’t careful with the placement of words in our sentences and thus aren’t as clear as we could be. Can you spot potential ambiguity caused by the placement of the word only in any of these sentences? The budget can only be balanced if...
Hyphenating Compound Words

Using a Hyphen with Adjectives

We talk about hyphens in several different articles on this site. One article distinguishes hyphens from en and em dashes.  Another talks about open, closed, and hyphenated compound words. This article add information about using a hyphen with adjectives. Start with a...