Steven Pinker, the famous psycholinguist, says the Elements of Style usage manual is valuable but has some “cockamamie advice.” In an essay titled Writing in the 21st Century (http://bit.ly/1xBiAiN. Skip the first six paragraphs), Pinker, now at Harvard, notes that...
Insert a colon after words that form a complete thought, not after phrases such as for example or as a result. It is common for someone to write, The topics on the meeting agenda include: the annual conference, staff additions, and budget planning. Similarly, you...
People are familiar with using a comma before and, but, or so, but however, nevertheless, and furthermore are a different kind of connecting word and can be more problematic. Nearly three dozen words that appear at the start of a sentence and in the middle serve a...
People frequently are unsure whether to put a comma before “and,” but how about using a comma before such words as because, when, where, and who? Essential clause – Words that are an integral part of the main thought of a sentence form an essential clause, and...
It’s acceptable to begin a sentence with because or however, contrary to what many people learned. There is no grammatical principle to support the notion that it’s wrong. Prominent writers have done it for decades, and language historians don’t know where the...
Knowing which punctuation mark to use in different situations can be challenging enough; having closing quotation marks in the picture adds another wrinkle. Remember: Periods and commas go inside (in British English, they are outside) closing quotation marks....
If you want to persuade someone to do you a favor, you’re more likely to succeed if you present it …
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