Word Usage

Copywriter Tips for Strengthening Your Writing

Copywriter Tips for Strengthening Your Writing

I have hired dozens of freelance writers in my role as an in-house copywriter for a content conversion firm, and it never ceases to amaze me how many writers lack basic writing skills. Whether you’ve been a freelance writer for two months or ten years, there are always ways to improve your craft. Here are some specifics things writers can do to strengthen their writing: Use “is” Sparingly The most valuable lesson I took away from my upper graduate English coursework involves use of the word “is.” Here’s how it goes: if you can rework a sentence to remove use [Read more…]

The Day I Learned What Friend Zone Means

The Day I Learned What Friend Zone Means

In spite of working online, I do have a tendency to be the last to know about the latest things to go viral. Remember Gangnam Style? I think my mom know about it before I did! Then there’s Harlem Shake, which I totally don’t get. “Friend zone” probably takes the cake, though, as I only really learned the “official” definition today, thanks to the February 2013 update of the Oxford Dictionaries. Last year, I was pleasantly surprised with the addition of “Whovian”, Dr. Who fan that I am. Some of you expressed your distaste at certain additions (see the comments [Read more…]

What Do Frankenfood, Guyliner, and Whovian Have in Common?

Frankenfood

I don’t know if you’ve checked the Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) lately, but they added new words in May, and boy, did I have a blast going through the list! To be honest, of the three words I used in the title, I am (was) familiar only with the last one. Just in case you felt lost while reading the title of this post, let’s take a quick look at the definitions of these now officially recognized words. Frankenfood refers to genetically modified food and is used in a derogatory manner. If you steer clear of anything remotely related to [Read more…]

10 Unusual Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns Infographic

Do you find yourself checking the thesaurus often lately? I don’t know about you, but I do love checking for new words to use regularly. This is especially true for when I find myself using the same words too much. Sometimes, I am not even aware of that fact, but the thesaurus does help! Of course, I still believe that nothing beats reading voraciously when it comes to vocabulary expansion. I found this infographic that presents 10 supposedly unusual collective nouns, which some of you might find interesting. To be honest, I don’t really think that the collective nouns in [Read more…]

Are You Disinterested or Uninterested?

Confused Art

The English language is such a beautiful thing, isn’t it? That is not to say that it is always simple. In fact, even native speakers make mistakes now and then. Even professional writers have their Waterloo. The good thing is that as long as we are open to correction and learning, we can only become better. Today’s grammar post is all about words that are often used interchangeably, often incorrectly. We already took a look at some word pairs that give people problems some time last year. Remember ingenuous and ingenious? This time around, let us take a look at [Read more…]

2011 Word of the Year

Word of the Year

In 2010, we were treated to a interesting new word courtesy of Sarah Palin. “Refudiate“, which did not exist prior to Palin’s usage, made it as the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year. It was also included in the dictionary as a real word. Halfway into the first month of 2012, we have several words to consider as Word of the Year for 2011. A simple search on Google using that phrase yielded several results, three of which we will take a look at in this week’s grammar post. Merriam-Webster: PRAGMATIC “Pragmatic” is a commonly used word, isn’t [Read more…]

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