Editor’s Blog

Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: How many ways can you run?

Run is one of those words that can be shifted to another word that has more meaning. Do your characters bolt, race, dash, dart, careen, sprint, jog, or do they actually just run? See if that instance of run/ran can be replaced with something with more meaning.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: You can measure a metre with a meter.

This is one of those words that has two different spellings, but only in UK English. If you are using US English, it is always meter. However, in UK English, metre is the unit of measure, whereas meter is the device by which you can measure things.

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Give me the Em-Dash

There is a big difference between an em-dash, en-dash and hyphen. They have different uses. But all hope is not lost. Your word-processor will render them while typing. Here’s how.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Alright vs All right…

If you are using UK English, it is always all right (two words). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, alright (one word) is not acceptable. However Merriam-Webster states, “[Alright] is less frequent than all right but remains common especially in informal writing.”

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: Data is plural. Datum is singular.

The word data is plural. The singular form is datum. The data are… The datum is… While correct, I’ll admit it does feel weird to say. My recommendation is to charge your sentences that involve these words to remove the is/are or was/were. The data shows…

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: How can one affect the effect?

It’s a common mistake made, and one I often have to look up, just to reaffirm what I already know. Affect is the verb, where effect is the noun. It doesn’t help the confusion when the word “influence” can be used to replace both words.

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Helpful Tips

Tip of the Day: It’s Achilles’ heel but James’s foot.

It’s Achilles’ heel but James’s foot. Only ancient names that end with an s do not employ a possessive form of ‘s. All modern names do. One way to avoid the confusion is to rearrange the wording: the heel of Achilles but the foot of James. Yes, it adds words, and sounds a little stuffy, but the confusion of the possessive form is gone. (Note: While not all style guides agree, most do.)

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