Word Count Writers Talk About Writing

When you visit your bank's website or enter a credit-card number, you've probably noticed that in the browser's address box, the URL begins with https. The "S" stands for "secure," and the security technology your browser uses for that "S" represents one of the great inventions in the history of secrets. In this piece I'll walk you through some of the terms of that rich field. Continue reading...
Grammar Girl, a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty, has been sharing short tips on usage and style with us. Her latest tip looks at the evolution of affirmative interjections, from yea and yes in Old English to yeah and yup in contemporary English. Continue reading...
Here's the latest in our series of tips on usage and style from the one and only Grammar Girl, a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty. What's the difference between facetious and sarcastic? Continue reading...
TOPICS: Usage, Words
We're happy to introduce the first in a series of tips on usage and style from the inimitable Grammar Girl, a.k.a. Mignon Fogarty. First up: how do you punctuate do and don't when the words are pluralized? Continue reading...
TOPICS: Usage, Words, Writing
On the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is celebrated in the United States. But wait: is celebrated the right word? Would it be more appropriate to say Memorial Day is observed? Wendalyn Nichols, an experienced editor and lexicographer, guides us through this usage quandary. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Usage
"Victuals" is one of those words that many people know by sound and sight but have not put sound and sight together. It's sort of like knowing someone by name and knowing someone by face, but not realizing the two are the same person. Until you accidentally find out, and it's usually embarrassing. Continue reading...
We have occasionally invoked Tom Lehrer when discussing how the simple letter "e" can change the meaning of many words, citing his song "Silent 'E.'" That "e" can also magically change a word into another form, such as a noun into a verb. This being illogical English, there are few "rules" as to what it does, though. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Language, Spelling, Words
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