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.


Curse of the Proofreader’s Brain

May 16, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

he curse of professional language persons, you see, is that they are always language persons, 24/7, even when not on the job. It’s just how our brains are wired. Some of us have always been this way; for others, our years in the business have reshaped our thought patterns.


Respectively: Explained

May 5, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

The word “respectively” is extremely useful, but only if you use it correctly. It’s useless (though often used) when ”respectively” doesn’t have something to be respective to.


Grammatical Metaphor: A Quick Guide

April 26, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Grammatical metaphor may seem complex, but it is actually something we use rather automatically and frequently in speaking and writing. Becoming aware and intentional about using it, however, can improve our writing in several ways.


More Commonly Confused Words: Y and Wherefore

April 16, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

There are occasions when the living language is unsettled; no firm rule guides us, and confusion reigns. And for some peculiar reason, these occasions tend to crop up when the letter Y is involved.


Figurative Language: What It Is and When to Use It

April 1, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

igurative and literal speech, often confused, are important to understand, and both serve their purposes in writing. So, in today’s post, I will provide information about figurative and literal language and some tips for knowing when to use each.


Editing Advertising Tip #1: Make the Style Consistent

March 21, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Business Proofreading and Editing

Advertisers do all these things after conducting expensive marketing research with focus groups, taste tests, mall surveys, and God knows what else. Even a small correction by an editor might be contradicted by $100,000 in research. So, how do you edit ads?


Commonly Confused Irregular Words

March 10, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Words derived from the same root might change their spellings when used as nouns or verbs, or when going from singular and plural, and adding to the confusion, some of these irregular spellings follow predictable patterns, while other stay, well, irregular.


How Macros Improve Writing

March 3, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Macros are little programs you can add to Word to make it do pretty much anything you’d like done to a document such as highlight two spaces after a period, automatically identify inconsistent font sizes, swap certain words, and highlight specific words or phrases, such as homophones and commonly confused words.


When and How to Use a Proofreading Service

February 28, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

A professional edit is not a shortcut to quality writing; that comes only from rewriting, and that job is yours alone. The more you revise a piece before proofreading, the less you’ll need to revise it afterward.


Wordle Tips and Tricks

February 4, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Uncategorized

Of course, one day the craze will calm down, but for now, if you’d like a little help amazing your friends with your mad word-nerd skillz, here are some tips and tricks.


More Tips for Word’s Spell and Grammar Check

January 31, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Spell check is a great tool to let writers know when they’ve made spelling errors, but it misses many commonly confused words (appraise and apprise) and homophones (hair and hare). It also can’t simultaneously check intermingled English and foreign language terms, and there are many technical terms it won’t know and will count as spelling errors (though you can add words to the dictionary. In today’s post, I offer some tips to help you take better advantage of Word’s spelling and grammar checks.


Use a Modifier or a Hyphen, Not Both

January 22, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Recently, I’ve been noticing an increase in the error of putting a hyphen between a modifier and the word it modifies. I did mention once in a post on hyphens, “When the words in front of nouns are already modifiers (adverbs or adjectives), no hyphen is used,” but I didn’t elaborate. So, that’s what I’d like to do today.


Quick Intro to Dialects in Dialogue

January 13, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Fiction

what does the poetry of Burns have to do with writing and editing in Modern Standard English? For writers of fiction, the answer is “plenty.”


Write without Bias, Sexism, or Racism

December 30, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

Language is always changing to reflect material developments and changing ideas, so it’s important to frequently revisit and update use of words, expressions, and language structures that may convey meanings we don’t intend and that may alienate readers or listeners. In today’s post, I will discuss some more words and expressions you may want to leave out of your language due to their histories in racism or sexism.


5 Cancelled Terms & Sayings

December 20, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

Several phrases have been cancelled in recent years for good reasons, but there have been no good phrases to replace them. This gap in appropriate language can leave those who don't mean to offend scrambling. The sayings were just so darn useful.


Guide to Tricky Plurals: Surnames, Joint Possessives

December 11, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

We’re used to speaking and writing as individuals; writing from the whole family means navigating some quirks of grammar and spelling. But as the angels in the old Christmas carols like to say, fear not! Your friends at ProofreadingPal are here to help.


6 Tips for Effective Office Bulletins and Memos

November 30, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Business Proofreading and Editing

In today’s post, I’ll offer some tips for shorter internal office communications such as memos and bulletins for distribution electronically or in print and posted signs to convey specific information or instructions.


5 Times to Edit Quotes

November 26, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Proofreading and Editing

So there you are, editing away, and you see a quote with an error in it. Do you fix it, or not?


Quick Guide to Using Unicode Keystrokes for Diacritics

November 13, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Uncategorized

The curators of the standard have assigned keystroke shortcuts the diacritics, punctuation marks, and symbols most commonly used in English, allowing users to render them onscreen and in print while typing and without opening a separate application or subroutine.


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