Writing & Grammar


Say what you mean and mean what you say Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: This morning I was reading one of my favorite decorating magazines (I was a decorator for 23 years), when I noticed the text underneath an absolutely stunning house. The author was writing about front porches, which I happen to love. What was unlovable was what he said. He said, “This doors-flung-open, arms-spread-wide greeting dissolves me immediately.” What???? That dissolving business sounds painful. I...

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Speaking English Phonetically Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: This is purely for fun. Enjoy! (Note: You will have to copy and paste it into your browser because it is being difficult today. Thanks! https://videosift.com/video/If-English-were-Spoken-Phonetically-Consistent Best, Dr. Sheri


Be clear about what you mean Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: I was walking in the mall yesterday when I saw a sign that read “leak diverter kit.”  What in the world was that? I also once knew a guy who said, “I have had eloquent sufficiency and any more would be detrimental to my internal capacity.” Come again? Sometimes people have a lot of something and say they have a “dearth” of whatever...

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APA formatting made easy Writing & Grammar

HI everyone: Here are some quick tips for APA style formatting, taken from my research on the 6th edition of the APA Style Manual. You need a Running head, which should look like this: Running head: CAPITALIZE YOUR TITLE The Running head belongs at the top of your page, flush left. When you use an author’s name in the sentence, you don’t need it in...

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Redundancy is only good with twins Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: Some things are good when repeated, like twins, for example. There’s nothing cuter than two identical little kids, even if they’re deer, like the ones pictured in this blog posting. However, redundancy is not fun in your college essay. It is, quite frankly, boring and trite. I had a recent paper submitted by a student who wrote something like this: This paper is...

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Plural versus possessive Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: One issue that my beloved students face, even at the graduate level, is whether something is plural or possessive. Hang on till the end of this blog posting and I’ll tell you a joke to reward your patience. Do you have more than one? It is plural. Do you have something? It is possessive. Let me explain further. There are fifteen girls standing...

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Oxford commas, Parenthetical expression commas, and Introductory phrase commas in a nutshell Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: I have posted on these wonderful commas in the past. You can find the explanations of why to use them in other blog postings, but this is the Readers’ Digest condensed version for those of you in a hurry. Oxford commas are used to connect the second-to-the-last item in a list of things. For example, here is a sentence without an Oxford comma:...

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Conditional Phrases Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: Today I want to talk about something you may have never heard of: conditional phrases. Let’s keep it short and sweet. These are also known as if-then phrases. If you study, then it is more likely you will get a good grade. If you smoke, then there will be a negative effect on your health. If you do something, what do you think...

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