Academic Blog

That Girl - Since When Is Txt-Spk Acceptable in Real Life?

published on 04-Oct-11 01:25
My name is That Girl, I’m a columnist for English teaching articles in the US and UK and I also happen to be quirky English teacher. I’ve been using WhiteSmoke for quite some time and have been given to opportunity to have a column, of sorts, here as well! So stay tuned for future posts here and on my blog. Today we’re going to discuss text speak (or txt spk).
Read More

Jane Straus - The Number vs A Number

published on 21-Mar-11 07:41
The expression "the number" is followed by a singular verb while the expression "a number" is followed by a plural verb.
Read More

Jane Straus - Spelling "ce"/"se"

published on 17-Mar-11 05:56
It is easy to get confused between nouns and verbs that are spelled almost identically. However, here is a simple rule that will help you with two sound-alike pairs of words.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - To Be Or Not To Be An Apostrophe

published on 17-Mar-11 05:52
The Simpsons’ (cat) remains two syllables because that’s the sound; consequently, no additional s is added after the apostrophe. The Jones’s (cat) adds the second syllable when pronounced; therefore, an s follows the apostrophe.
Read More

Jane Straus - When to Capitalize People's Titles

published on 14-Feb-11 04:13
A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. I hope you enjoy these!
Read More

Jane Straus - Paraprosdokian Sentences

published on 05-Jan-11 06:57
A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. I hope you enjoy these!
Read More

Jane Straus - Hyphenating Between Words

published on 29-Dec-10 09:18
Many of us get confused about when to hyphenate between words. For example, should you write nearly-extinct wolves or nearly extinct wolves? This week's tip will help you spell correctly when adding suffixes. We have Lawrence K. to thank for sending this suggestion as well as for many of the examples.
Read More

Jane Straus - Sleek Writing: Put your Sentences on a Diet

published on 12-Dec-10 13:50
We tend to speak plainly and succinctly but for some reason, when we write, we stuff our sentences with extra verbiage, turning streamlined ideas into confusing, out-of-shape messes.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - That or Which

published on 12-Dec-10 06:54
"That" introduces a phrase that is essential to the meaning of the sentence. "Which" introduces a phrase that can be left out of the sentence without affecting the meaning; it is parenthetical.
Read More

Dr. Mel D. Levine - Dissembling and Assembling the Moving Parts of Writing

published on 05-Dec-10 03:31
Proclamations of exasperation reflect the agony and confusion parents live with whether they criticize or sympathize with a child who has trouble getting thoughts on paper. That’s not so surprising when we consider the complexity of writing and the many possible ways in which the act can break down.
Read More

Dr. Mel D. Levine - Introduction

published on 05-Dec-10 03:23
Meet Dr. Mel D. Levine, a pediatrician who has devoted his career to the study of learning and development.
Read More

Jane Straus - Hyphens with Numbers

published on 05-Dec-10 03:16
Should you write 13-feet or 13 feet? Here is the rule: when you're combining two or more words to form a compound adjective in front of a noun, put hyphens between these words.
Read More

Jane Straus - Subject and Verb Agreement

published on 25-Oct-10 08:32
Many readers have asked me why people write numbers this way: Example: We will need 220 (two hundred twenty) chairs.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - More About Pronouns

published on 17-Oct-10 02:52
Do you ever use semicolons? Many writers avoid them because they are misunderstood. The semicolon is a stronger pause than a comma, yet not as strong as a period. Take a risk and add a few to your writing.
Read More

Jane Straus - Adding Suffixes

published on 10-Oct-10 14:07
Do you ever wonder if you should double a letter when adding a suffix? For example, why does shop become shopping, not shoping since hope becomes hoping, not hopping? This week's tip will help you spell correctly when adding suffixes. We have Lawrence K. to thank for sending this suggestion as well as for many of the examples.
Read More

Jane Straus - Hyphens with the Prefix re

published on 12-Sep-10 02:44
Many of us find hyphens confusing. The prefix re can make hyphenating even more of a head-scratching experience. However, there is really only one rule that you need to learn to determine when and when not to hyphenate with re.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - The Pause That Refreshes

published on 12-Sep-10 02:40
Do you ever use semicolons? Many writers avoid them because they are misunderstood. The semicolon is a stronger pause than a comma, yet not as strong as a period. Take a risk and add a few to your writing.
Read More

Jane Straus - Oscar Meyer Wieners and the Subjunctive Mood

published on 26-Aug-10 03:16
A reader asked the following: In this sentence, “If I were wealthier, I would travel around the world,” shouldn’t I be followed by was, not were, since I is singular?
Read More

Jane Straus - Hyphens with Common Prefixes

published on 18-Aug-10 02:53
Should we use a hyphen with a common prefix such as non or un? For example, is it non-alcoholic beverages or nonalcoholic beverages?
Read More

Harriet Diamond - Writing

published on 08-Aug-10 05:19
Today, almost everyone in business has to write something. English may have not been your favorite subject in school and you never thought that writing would be a part of your job in finance, customer service, or any one of numerous career choices.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - The Active Voice of Strong Writing

published on 06-Jul-10 09:50
When you write a sentence in active voice, someone or something clearly acts. In passive voice, responsibility for the action is not always clear.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - Common Pronoun Confusion

published on 01-Jun-10 10:59
Pronouns are not really complicated. Often, the method of teaching pronouns complicates understanding. Each category of pronoun has a specific role. They cannot do one another’s job.
Read More

Jane Straus - Subject and Verb Agreement I

published on 05-May-10 12:39
While most of us know that a singular subject takes a singular verb and a plural subject takes a plural verb, distinguishing between singular and plural subjects as well as singular and plural verbs can be tricky.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - The Power of Positive Language

published on 02-May-10 07:33
People respond more favorably to a smile than to a frown. They also are more receptive to a positive presentation of information – spoken or written -- than to a negative one. Sometimes, the news is less than upbeat; sometimes it is unquestionably negative, but the delivery can soften the message.
Read More

Jane Straus - Subjects and Verbs

published on 18-Apr-10 09:52
Most of you probably learned to find the subject first and then find the verb. It is actually much easier to find the verb first and then find the subject. Why even bother? When you pair the verb and subject up correctly, you will be able to check that they agree. Keep reading and you will understand quickly what this means.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - When Words Get in The Way of Your Writing

published on 07-Apr-10 12:36
Whether you are writing to confirm a meeting, enclose a contract, offer a proposal, or request information, precise, direct language is your ally. Following are three examples of how words get in the way of your message.
Read More

Harriet Diamond - Introduction

published on 07-Apr-10 11:01
Harriet Diamond is the author of eight writing and business books. She retired in 2004 from Diamond Associates, the training and consulting company she created in 1985, and through which she developed and taught numerous customizing writing programs. Diamond’s writing books are displayed below. For more information, visit harrietdiamond.net.
Read More

Jane Straus - Writing Numbers as Words

published on 06-Apr-10 11:41
Many readers have asked me why people write numbers this way: Example: We will need 220 (two hundred twenty) chairs.
Read More

Jane Straus - Problems with Prepositions

published on 06-Apr-10 11:37
Prepositions are words that often show direction: below, above, over, under, around, through, in, out, between, among, to, toward(s). Other common prepositions include of, for (also sometimes a conjunction), from, with, like (also sometimes a verb).
Read More

Jane Straus - Demonstrative Adjectives

published on 06-Apr-10 11:35
The demonstrative adjectives—this/that/these/those—tell us where an object is located and how many objects there are.
Read More

Jane Straus - Whoever vs. Whomever

published on 06-Apr-10 11:33
In a previous blog, I showed you a trick to determine whether to use who or whom. This week, I will give you the trick for distinguishing between whoever and whomever.
Read More

Jane Straus - Who vs. Whom

published on 06-Apr-10 11:20
Even native English speakers get confused between who and whom. If you use a simple trick, you will be able to feel more confident in your choice.
Read More

Jane Straus - Pronoun Usage

published on 06-Apr-10 11:02
Have you ever wondered whether to use I or me in a sentence? If so, you are not alone. I can help you feel confident with your pronoun choices.
Read More

Jane Straus - Subject and Verb Agreement II

published on 06-Apr-10 10:57
Last time, we learned some tricks for subject and verb agreement. As a reminder, verbs do not form their plurals by adding an s as nouns do. In order to distinguish between a singular and a plural verb, think of which verb you would use with he or she and which verb you would use with they.
Read More

Jane Straus - Introduction

published on 06-Apr-10 10:41
If you want to get what you ordered at the restaurant, if you want to do business with reputable companies, and if you don’t want to have your identity stolen online, then read Jane Straus' blogs filled with valuable English usage tips, quizzes, brainteasers, and word play.
Read More

Share With Your Friends!



Digg Stumbleupon delicious technorati Furl Google Yahoo! E-mail this to a friend Share with Twitter Share with Facebook