Tag Archives: language usage

The Subtle (and not so subtle) Art of the Euphemism

It’s been a while since we’ve journeyed to Grammarland, that mythical place where language usage rules and parts of speech mingle.  Today we shall tackle the euphemism, that funny phrase either used or invented that refers to something entirely different, … Continue reading

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Grammarland: A Lot, Alot, Allot, and Shallots

Let us return to the mythical oasis of Grammarland where the magic water of words flows in abundance.  Ladies and gentlemen, I confess, I have a bad habit of typing “alot” when I’m not paying attention. No, not a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Grammarland, Humor, Language usage | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Simon Heffer at UK’s Telegraph “Strictly English”

In light of today being a National holiday I will let Simon Heffer over at the Telegraph do my post for me.  A hat tip goes to my dear aunt who emails me interesting tidbits from around the world whenever … Continue reading

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That dratted “That”

Poor ‘that’ has fallen into the ‘unnecessary words targeted for removal’ category along with the words just, very, and a healthy selection of adverbs.  I have been slamming my brain against the desk to figure out why.  After digging deep … Continue reading

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“Dialogue punctuation?” he asked, “But why?”

It is Wednesday and we are returning to Grammarland: the magical place of punctuation rules, tips on language usage, and other useful tools for writers.  Today we are reviewing correct dialogue punctuation. First, the anatomy a dialogue sentence: “You are … Continue reading

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Adding Emphasis with the Exclamation Mark!

Ah, the overused exclamation mark.  It peppers our papers and blogs in a desperate attempt to inject emphasis, often needlessly.  It is used as additional insurance for a writer, making sure that emphatic statements are noticed.  The difference between an … Continue reading

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The Ellipsis . . . Demystified

I most often I see the ellipsis (that’s the “. . .”) used as a way to add a dramatic pause in writing, especially in dialogue; or trailing at the end of a sentence to show an unfinished thought.  When … Continue reading

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The Comma, Clarified.

I could spend a very long time to write in my own words what so many people have already written about comma usage.  In fact, I just spent an hour trying to do just that, which was far more than … Continue reading

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More matter with less art

As suggested by the title, this week’s language usage lesson addresses a pet peeve of mine – wordiness.   Defined simply, “wordiness” is using more words than necessary to make your point.   Eliminating excessive, confusing, or redundant words from your sentences … Continue reading

Posted in Editing and Revision, Grammarland | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments