888-833-8385

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

CONTINUE READING

Five Common Student Writing Problems

September 30, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In today’s post, I will focus on the needs of one of our large client groups: students. Specifically, I will  review some of the most common problems we proofreaders see in student papers.

CONTINUE READING

When and When Not to Use Em Dashes

September 27, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

The en dash is used mostly for number ranges (e.g., 1928–1972) and in some stylebooks to suggest a hierarchical or interactive relationship between two nouns (e.g., father–son relationship). Except when people use an en dash when they want to us an em dash, writers tend to use en dashes properly. It’s em dashes that get abused.

CONTINUE READING

Foreign Loan Words, Diacritics, and AutoCorrect

August 16, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

A given word may or may not then “read” to the English-trained eye as foreign, based on habit, familiarity, and longstanding usage. But language is a matter not only of the eye, but also of the ear. That’s where diacritics come in.

CONTINUE READING

Tips to Avoid Mixed Metaphors

July 20, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Whether your first language is English or not, you must have mixed your metaphors a time or two. In conversation, it’s not a biggie. Everyone (unless they’re an editor with no social skills) pretends it didn’t matter, and life goes on. But in writing, these matter. They sit there and taunt the reader to notice something is wrong, and usually they succeed.

CONTINUE READING

Foreign Loan Words and Diacritical Marks

July 8, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Foreign loan words are brought into English more or less intact, either in their original spelling (e.g., the German “schadenfreude,” the French “bistro”) or, if non-Western in origin, transliterated into the Latin alphabet (e.g., the Japanese “karaoke,” the Mandarin “kung fu”).

CONTINUE READING

Adopting New Words vs. Slang, Part 1

May 17, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

I know, as an editor, I’m not supposed to say this, but when it comes to a language’s health, imposing grammatical rules isn’t nearly as important as staying relevant.

CONTINUE READING

Quick Guide to Common Old-School Abbreviations

January 13, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

This quick guide to some of the most common, old-school, and occasionally forgotten abbreviations should help you stay on track.

CONTINUE READING

How to Capitalize Medicine

November 5, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In today’s post, I will write about a related topic: capitalization of medication names. The rule is simple, and it’s essentially the same as the rule for capitalizing diseases and most other things.

CONTINUE READING

How to Capitalize Disease Names

October 5, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

If you’ve ever been confused about how to capitalize disease names, read on. In today’s post, I’ll provide you with three simple, hopefully easy-to-remember, rules on the proper capitalization of disease names.

CONTINUE READING

An Easy Guide to Articles: A, An, and The

September 10, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

There are three articles: “a,” “an,” and “the.” All of them function as adjectives.

CONTINUE READING

Simple Guide to Using “If” or “Whether”

September 2, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

The English language is full of words that seem to perform the same function but have true differences when you need to be specific. In technical, instructive, and other forms of business or formal writing, “if” and “whether” serve different functions.

CONTINUE READING

Commonly Confused Homophones

August 7, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Ah, the double-edged sword of spell-check. That little red squiggle under misspelled words can be so helpful in drawing your attention to words in need of correction. But the absence of that little red squiggle can give a false sense of security, leading you to think your writing is spelling-error free when it might be filled with correctly-spelled incorrect words. One troublesome group of word is homophones.

CONTINUE READING

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives

Get a Free Sample

We will get your free sample back in three to six hours!

Follow us

We proofread documents 24/7 Support 888-833-8385

© 2010 - 2020 ProofreadingPal LLC - All Rights Reserved.