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3 Easy Steps for Lovely Thank-You Notes

November 30, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

According to Emily Post, “No fill-in-the-blank cards, no pre-printed cards, no phone calls, no emails, and no generic post on your website!” And while I agree with four of those, I think the “no email” rule has gotten a little old. I’d probably put “no texting” instead.

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Quick Guide to (Grammatically Correct) NFL Lingo, Part 2 of 4

November 22, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Last month, we looked at some of the basics of the game, including the playing positions, along with some jargon. Now, let’s deal with how the game is played.

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Commonly Confused Words, “Taste the Rainbow” Edition

November 15, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

With an effectively infinite number of potential spoken words, English could have been a precise and unambiguous language, assigning a unique-sounding word to each distinct concept, but that’s just not how languages evolve.

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Subject-Verb Agreement II

October 31, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In last month’s post, I reviewed the basics of subject-verb agreement: definitions of subjects and verbs, how they agree, and common issues that arise when a phrase comes between the subject and verb and when there’s a compound subject. In today’s post, I will discuss some finer details of subject-verb agreement.

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Quick Guide to (Grammatically Correct) NFL Lingo, Part 1 of 4

October 17, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

The playing field, or gridiron, is made up of ten sections of ten yards each, making up a hundred yards. The field is flanked by two scoring areas, or end zones. The nickname comes from early hatch-like fields, which resembled gridirons (i.e., grills).

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Commonly Confused Words: It Never Reigns But It Pores

October 10, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

This talk of rain brings us to another perplexing pair. “Pour” with a "u" describes the gravity-powered flow of some fluid, either a liquid or a loose, granular solid like table salt, from a higher point to a lower one, often (but not always) into or out of a container of some kind.

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Subject-Verb Agreement, Pt 1

October 1, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In today’s post, I will review an important aspect of English grammar: subject-verb agreement. I’ll review some of the basic terminology and concepts and discuss a couple of points that we proofreaders find cause writers trouble.

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Easy Guide to Writing a Knitting Pattern

September 21, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

I call this an “easy guide” because actually writing down a pattern can be anything but.

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Commonly Confused Words: Ship’s Carpenter Edition

September 16, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

This kind of unintentional wordplay, sometimes called an eggcorn, comes from mishearing or mixing up similar-sounding words. And it reminded me that it is once again time for me to offer a few tips for distinguishing between commonly confused words.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid Making in Your Writing, Part 2

September 2, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Today I’ll write about and provide links to other ProofreadingPal blog posts with more details about three more common errors: run-on sentences, incorrect words, and subject-verb agreement and other verb issues.

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How Not to Write Like a Lawyer: Part 2

August 19, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

So, now the time has come when you want to write about something that you might need to argue someday, whether in court or at a PTA meeting; something you may be held accountable for; or just something you want to make very clear to others. Resisting the temptation to use lawyer-speak, what should you concentrate on?

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Commonly Confused Words: Uninterested vs. Disinterested

August 11, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

There it is again. You’re reading a newspaper or magazine, an article about a legal dispute, perhaps, with the two sides of an argument coming together with a trusted mediator, and you see one of those phrases that fills you with fleeting doubt: “a disinterested party.” You’ve seen it often enough that you’ve kind of figured out what it means, right?

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Quick Guide to Common Writing Mistakes

August 2, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In today’s post and an upcoming part II post next month, I’ll briefly describe some of the most common errors you should look out for in your writing and I will provide links to excellent ProofreadingPal blog posts from the past for more details on each of these errors.

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Science Fiction and the English Language

July 27, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Uncategorized

But being the nerd I am, I've been thinking about the influence science fiction in general has had on the English language. In today’s post, I thought I’d share some of that thinking.

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Commonly Confused Words: Jive Talking

July 12, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

This time around we’re looking at two sets of words pertaining to uncertainty, deception, and preconceptions.

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Changes in the MLA Handbook 9th Ed.

July 1, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

The good news for writers who rely on MLA style is that the nitty gritty details are the same: most (99%!) of the formatting and citation information is the same as in previous editions. The other good news is that the 9th edition has many more examples and some new chapters on top of all that the 8th edition had to offer. There is no bad news, as far as I am concerned.

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How Not to Write Like a Lawyer (and Why You Shouldn’t Want To): Part 1

June 25, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

It’s little wonder that when people can’t or don’t want to hire a lawyer, they often try to write like one. That's not good.

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Commonly Confused Words: Lightning Round!

June 20, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Over the last few months, this blog has looked at how shifts in our language and culture can cause mix-ups in the meanings of words. This time, let’s dispense with the philosophical framework and plunge directly into some confounding pairs!

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When to Use Tables and Figures

May 31, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Dissertations

In research papers, tables and figures can be helpful and even necessary to support your argument or to present a clearer, fuller picture of your topic. Creating effective tables and figures is not a simple task, however, and using a table or figure made by another author has intellectual property considerations. In today’s post, I’ll provide some information about tables and figures and some tips for including them correctly and thoughtfully .

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A Road by Any Other Name

May 21, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

While it may seem confusing to have an Elm Street in the same city as an Elm Lane, there is an actual purpose behind all the different names we give to places cars use, so in this post, let’s look at the different meanings those words convey in US English.

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