I’m almost afraid to get into the car after seeing this list. I’m imagining the streets and highways turning into racetracks, drivers holding stopwatches in outstretched arms, noses pressed toContinue reading
Mark Twain once said that the difference between the right word and the almost right word was the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Let’s add this to Twain’s thought: The difference between the right spelling and the almost right spelling is the difference between clarity and hilarity.
Consider the accompanying example. …Continue reading
Actually, “up” is a perfectly good word.
Without “up,” we could “look at” a dictionary, but we’d never “look up” anything.
For all its usefulness, though, “up” makes a ghastly verb when used to mean “increase” or “improve.”
As if transformed, that cute, handy little word suddenly communicates with all the eloquence of a suppository. …Continue reading
Let’s think this through: The team’s grade point average is an average, but we want to emphasize that a new player has increased that average. So we call it anContinue reading
Tight writing improves clarity. Think of giving a friend directions to your house or apartment: Would you send her down the same street twice, guide her onto dead-end roads, forceContinue reading