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.


Pronunciation Diacritical Marks

November 5, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

A frequent complaint of language learners of English is that the pronunciation of a word is often quite unpredictable. For example, we have the words “might,” “right,” and “freight” with Gs and Hs with no apparent sound; “score,” “school,” and “skip,” but also “scissors”; and, of course, “bow” (and arrow) and “bow” (and show respect), and “row” (a boat) and “row” (with an enemy).


Guide to Writing Believable Magic: Limitations

October 19, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Uncategorized

For this first post in the series, we’ll start with the most important aspect of good fictional magic I can think of: establishing its limitations.


Guide to Using Character Maps and Unicode

October 12, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

The Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit based in Mountain View, California, was founded in 1991 to compile the various ad hoc systems used in different companies and locations and institute a truly global, cross-platform standard, meaning that a given code point will correspond with the same glyph in any application, search engine, or operating system.


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.


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.


Adding Diacritics with MS Word’s Insert Tab

September 23, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Let’s say you’re writing a paper about the history of the United Nations during the Cold War; there’s a single reference to the late secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld, and you need that diaresis over the o. It doesn’t make sense to add the name to AutoCorrect, because you anticipate never typing his name again after you finish this paper; heck, you’re never going to type it again after you finish this one sentence. What to do?


Tips for Effective Digital Assignments

September 2, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Essays

With any digital assignment, follow steps similar to those you would follow for a traditional assignment like a paper. Read the assignment carefully and make sure you understand it fully, plan your process, ensure your argument is solid, conduct thorough research, write the text of your video using appropriate language, revise and proofread, and document your sources.


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