Writers and editors commonly misunderstand what we use the apostrophe for and what possession is. And this misunderstanding dates back to the 18th century!
Articles Categorized Usable Usage
How we use words matters. Get usage right with help from this collection of articles.
Rewriting the Zombies: “Curate” and “Reveal”
Zombie rules seem follow you around like the undead, though some are just stylistic choices. Here’s a breakdown on the outdated rules involving “curate” and “reveal.”
Directing Action with Light Verbs
A light verb adds little meaning to the action of the sentence. Interestingly, these verbs have the ability to both help and hinder your writing.
Centering Around Logic
Those who prioritize logic in their writing often avoid phrases like “center around.” However, this common idiom is not as bad as you think.
Is ‘Alternate’ an ‘Alternative’?
Are you taking an “alternate” route or an “alternative” route? We tackle this common grammar debate with a little help from the dictionaries.
Rewriting the Zombies: Using “Likely” for “Probably”
In this series, learn why zombie rules don’t work and what rule you can follow instead. This week, we’ll tackle the “likely” and “probably.”
Usable Usage: Confronting Between and Of
Should “confrontation” be paired with “between” or “of?” Both are grammatically correct, but which is preferred?
The Problem of “Careful Usage”
If you’re not trying to placate traditionalists, then don’t let their’ “careful usage” throw you for a loop. Do your homework instead.
The Many Dance Partners of “Enamored”
Enamored with and enamored by are standard English. They aren’t labeled “nonstandard” or even “informal” in dictionaries that list them.
Nine Words to Avoid in Your Writing
Don’t let your readers get distracted from your message by using a word that riles them up. Become familiar with skunked terms.