Writing

The punctuation puzzle that is President(?) Day

presidents day

Today is a holiday; that much we know. But what exactly is that holiday called? Is it President’s Day? Presidents’ Day? Presidents Day? Or something else entirely? It all started with George Washington, who was born in 1731 – or maybe 1732. The holiday we celebrate on the third Monday in February began as a…

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Happy Public Domain Day!

public domain day

Yes, we have no bananas! No bananas, perhaps, but we do have access to a fun song with plenty more where that came from. January 1, 2019 marks a major event – and no, it’s not just another chance to make good on resolutions. Sure, you can save money, organize your home and lose all…

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All about ablaut reduplication

ablaut reduplication

Language is full of rules, no matter which one you speak. The funny thing is that we often know and follow the rules of our mother tongue without ever recognizing that there’s even a rule involved. If someone asked you to share your feelings about ablaut reduplication, what would you do? If you’re like most…

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5 pairs of words that practically beg for misuse

confusing words

In writing, mistakes are inevitable. That doesn’t make them any less regrettable or embarrassing though, especially when they’re preventable. Often, the most troublesome words closely resemble others that may or may not be related but are definitely distinct. In the interest of helping business writers avoid some of the most common errors, here are five…

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English expands again

beer

All modern languages are alive, in that they grow and change as a response to the way their speakers use them. English, as the most widely spoken language on earth today, expands at a rapid clip. While it’s easy to observe these changes first-hand, we can also look to the dictionaries for notice because they…

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Decimating news from the front lines of language

what does decimate mean

The English language holds no shortage of pitfalls for writers. With so many cognates and words that are almost-but-not-quite the same, it’s no wonder that mistakes riddle our communications. Sometimes these errors are accidental; other times the misuse reflects a downright ornery refusal to stick within accepted usage guidelines. Editors may sneer, proof-readers pooh-pooh, and…

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Hyphenation help for business writers

hyphens

Every professional wants to produce grammatically correct, perfectly punctuated business communications, in everything from email to blog posts. And yet, those little nit-picky issues that you just don’t know how to deal with can pose a challenge. Hyphenation is a frequent point of confusion; since some compound words call for a hyphen and others don’t,…

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What’s the deal with headline capitalization?

capitalize headlines

If you’ve noticed a whole lot of variation in capitalization patterns for headlines and article titles lately, you’re not imagining things. Whereas there used to be a couple of standard styles that most publications adhered to, today’s wide variability can leave a person wondering if there’s even a right way and a wrong way to…

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5 keys to a professional bio that helps you stand out

professional bio

You’ve worked hard to design an attractive website, described your services clearly, and even added testimonials or case studies that let visitors hear what real clients think of your firm. What’s still missing? Your professional bio, of course! Bio pages are an important part of your online presence, and they get a surprising amount of…

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Clients are the true content experts

choosing blog topics

When it’s time to create blog content, professional service firms are often at a loss. How can you generate ideas and determine appropriate topics to ensure that your content is read and valued? It’s easy to get hung up here, but there’s a readily available source of expertise with all the guidance you need: your…

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