December 14th, 2015
Author: Jennifer Rideout
ICYMI: Instagram teases multiple account access and Twitter swaps stars for hearts

ICYMI - Dec 14 2015

In this edition of ICYMI we discuss Instagram testing multiple account access and Twitter’s controversial switch from stars to hearts. Read More

 
August 31st, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: When to use passive voice

Hand with Red Pen Proofreading Text Closeup

In this post we’ll look at two-word phrases that commonly appear in error as one word, rare instances when writing in passive voice may be the better choice, and more Confusables.

One- or Two-Word Phrases?

Do you ever notice two simple words that appear often together, mistakenly written as one word? Alot, flowerpot and schoolbus are some examples.

There is a precedent for this odd word fusion. In the Middle Ages, the expressions “all over,” “young man,” “as much” and “as well” were often written as one word. Conversely, some of today’s single words — including tomorrow, forever, instead, nonetheless, somewhat, whatsoever and notwithstanding — originally existed as two or more words.

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August 11th, 2015
Author: Ashleigh Mair
Instagram revamps its offerings and Facebook redefines the ‘click’

Instagram Explore

In this edition of #ICYMI, we look at Instagram’s platform updates and Facebook’s new definition of a ‘click’ that will benefit advertisers (but not before it costs them more!). Read More

 
April 30th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
OnWords: April

iStock_000021003743_Medium_2

This month, we explore idioms vs. clichés and usage of counterpoint phrases. Plus, we’ve got more Confusables and an epic grammar fail. Read More

 
March 27th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: March

It’s spring! A season of growth, or as Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s Party!” In the spirit of this growing and building season, this month we look at some structural grammar issues – specifically, double constructions and squinting modifiers.

Double Constructions

This is a reference to those times when a part of speech is duplicated unnecessarily in an effort to ensure clarity. Simply put, it’s a way of over-explaining. The University of Toronto calls this ‘grammar overkill’. Double constructions are unnecessary, read as clunky, and break the flow: Read More

 
February 26th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words

February 2015 OnWords

This month we look at flat adverbs, which are increasingly popular but often ruffle feathers because they seem to break the rules. Also, if you’ve ever wondered whether ‘that’ or ‘which’ is the right word to introduce a clause you’ll find out in this month’s issue of On Words. Read More

 
October 20th, 2014
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: October Grammar tips

Lemony Snicket, in The Wide Window, on words:

Grammar is the greatest joy in life, don’t you find?

Fall is a great time of renewal, as F. Scott Fitzgerald observed: “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” It’s also a good time to renew or build your grammar skills. This month we look at ellipses, hyphenated words and ‘confusables’ – words often mistaken for each other:

Using the Ellipsis …

Those three dots you often see within a sentence, ‘ …’, form an ellipsis, commonly used to indicate omitted words. It’s Latin, with Greek origins meaning to fall short, leave out. It’s like the print equivalent for those times when someone recounts a conversation to you with “blah, blah, blah” or “yadda, yadda, yadda” to indicate that extraneous or predictable words have been omitted. Ellipses are particularly useful for shortening a long quotation. Always put a space before and after the dots. Note also there are two alternate uses, including:

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