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Grammar: Wishing upon a Star (or Are You Hoping or Dreaming?)

On my way into town this morning, a song came on the radio and part of the lyrics were “everything I’ve dreamed for.” I also recently heard that phrase on The Voice.

And...

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Grammar: Is It Changing Tack or Tact?

Whatever your character is doing isn’t working. Time to change tactics. There’s also a similar phrase–to change tack. But the two words–tack and tactic–are actually...

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Grammar: That vs. Which

Grammar: Commas with Relative Clauses

That versus which perplexes a lot of people. First things first—let’s talk about restrictive versus nonrestrictive clauses. A relative clause is...

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Editing & Publishing: Tools of the Trade

You may have wondered about the tools editors use. A dictionary is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But which one? A grammar book, probably. Although, again, which one? There are tons...

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Grammar: The Difference between a Spoon Full of Sugar and a Spoonful of Sugar

You may be wondering if there’s a difference between a spoonful of sugar or a spoon full of sugar. The same applies to roomful, forkful, and numerous other words. And the answer is yes!

A...

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Grammar: Ellipses… How to Torture a Writer with Three Tiny Dots

Ellipses are such handy little guys, but sadly very misunderstood. Some common issues I see:

Question: What’s the difference between an ellipsis and ellipses?
Answer: This is the...

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Grammar: On Style Guides and Dictionaries

Today’s “Grammar Bite” is going to be more of a meal, so I hope you’ll forgive me, but this topic is pretty important and there’s not a short answer here. So grab...

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Grammar: Passive Voice and the Word Was

I had a friend email me a sample edit today that she’d gotten from another editor. She was a bit confused because the editor had flagged every instance of the word “was” as...

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Grammar: The Ellipsis, That Handy Punctuation Mark

Ah, the ellipsis. The ellipsis can be a bit of a pain, but once mastered, it’s a great tool. For the purpose of this post, I’m only talking about using the ellipsis in fiction, not as...

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Grammar: Should You Put a Comma after Introductory Words Such As Now, Today, etc.?

Introductory Adverbs:

So, should you put a comma after introductory words such as now, today, etc.?

It depends! Wait—not what you wanted to hear? Sorry. Okay, let me try to break it down.

If...

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