Jim Steenburgh sent me this article from The Guardian about “what pop music can teach you about building sentences.”
Have you every seen that the automatic grammar checker in Microsoft Word flags “a climatology” as incorrect? I checked that “a climatological study” does not trigger the green underline, nor does “climatology” without the article “a”. Maybe it is some kind of check to see if someone says “a biology” not followed by a noun […]
The following is an excerpt from an email sent to staff at the University of Manchester. As part of the University’s commitment to creating change in gender equality across the University we are running a half day unconscious bias training session focussed on recruitment and promotion. The following is how it should have been punctuated […]
Which is correct? A. Wetzel et al. (2004) show a negative correlation between snow density and air temperature that explains 52% of the variance. B. Wetzel et al. (2004) showed a negative correlation between snow density and air temperature that explains 52% of the variance. The difference is that A uses the present tense “show”, […]
In Eloquent Science, I mention understanding the difference between denotation (the literal meaning of a word) and connotation (the idea or feeling that the word evokes in the listener). This idea hit home recently when I was co-writing a proposal with a British colleague. He had written the word “envisage”, which I thought sounded a […]
Dave Jorgensen sent me this wonderful piece of writing advice from author, columnist, and presidential speechwriter William Safire. 1. No sentence fragments. 2. It behooves us to avoid archaisms. 3. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration. 4. Don’t use no double negatives. 5. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, “Resist […]
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That “Web” as in “Web page” is capitalized? That “chapter 5” and “section 3.2” are generally not capitalized, but “Figure 9” and “Table 1” are? That Microsoft Word flags “a climatology” and “a cloud” as grammatically incorrect? [I don’t know why. Does anyone out there?] That “native English–speaking colleague” uses an en dash, but “English-speaking […]