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This Post Comprises Further Help for Your Systemic Writing Errors

By | Jul.15.15 | No Comments

Even the best writer can confuse words that sound almost the same — call them sound-alikes. A prior post reviewed many of the most common pairs. Here are some more. Comprise/Compose. Comprise means “include” or “contain.” …Continue reading »


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How to Clean Up Your Writing

By | May.27.15 | 4 Comments

Maybe you’ve read the stories about the candidate who wasn’t hired because of spelling errors in the resumé. Or the firm that lost the bid in response to a request for proposal because of grammatical …Continue reading »


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Dictionary Betrayal

By | Mar.23.15 | No Comments

Of course you use a dictionary when you don’t know the meaning of a word. But you might have to pay attention to context to figure out which definition applies and whether it’s the right …Continue reading »


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A Roman Walks Into a Bar

By | Feb.23.15 | No Comments

A Roman walks into a bar and tells the bartender, “I’d like a martinus.” The bartender says, “You mean a martini.” “No,” says the Roman, “I only want one.” English is a funny language — in …Continue reading »


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A Thesaurus Is Not Just a Word Processing Tab

By | Feb.02.15 | 1 Comment

A thesaurus is a compilation of synonyms, words of the same meaning. A thesaurus also lists antonyms, words of opposite meaning. When you want to vary your vocabulary to hold the reader’s interest, the thesaurus …Continue reading »


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Weak Sentence Starters You Use All the Time

By | Jan.12.15 | No Comments

A basic rule of good writing is to make every word count. “There is,” “there are” and “it is” are the weakest ways to start a sentence. Used this way, “there” and “it” are placeholders …Continue reading »


Effecting Misuse Can Affect the Effectiveness of Your Writing: Sound-Alikes

By | Nov.24.14 | No Comments

Similar-sounding words can have very different meanings. Sound-alike words have tripped up many a scribe. Because you may be spelling the word correctly but misusing it for the context, spell-check is of no help. Watch …Continue reading »


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Windyfoggery and Other Writing Tips from the Master

By | Nov.06.14 | No Comments

Theodore Bernstein created an analog to the economic maxim that bad money drives out good: bad words tend to drive out good ones. Bernstein, a journalist and professor, wrote or co-wrote seven books on grammar and …Continue reading »



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Three Tips for Better Client Status Reports

By | Sep.09.14 | 1 Comment

Ethics rules require you to keep your client informed (see ABA Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4). The client’s guidelines may require interval and event reporting. But sometimes it feels like nobody on the other end is reading …Continue reading »