Monday, September 1, 2014

News Feed Comments

10 grammar rules you can forget: how to stop worrying and write proper

October 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

Jim Steenburgh sent me this article from The Guardian about “what pop music can teach you about building sentences.”

Microsoft Word grammar checker FAIL: “A climatology”

June 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

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 […]

An example of why hyphens are necessary

March 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

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 […]

Past or Present Tense?

May 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Popular, Writing

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”, […]

Denotation versus Connotation

May 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing

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 […]

Writing Advice from William Safire

May 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Writing

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 […]

Bob The Angry Flower: It’s vs Its

Bob the Angry Flower speaks out against improper apostrophe use

Or, in color: Buy the poster here!

Did you know?

February 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Writing

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 […]