It’s time for a long winter’s nap

not teaching, still THINKING … If you were inclined to recline on a winter’s day, would you lay down or lie down? An easy way to know — and to be in the know when using these terms — is to remember the definition of each word. Lay: to place or put, often with “on” […]

May you keep proper perspective

MAY you … For the month of May, we are devoting this blog to our wishes for journalists present and future: “MAY you … “ Every day, you will find a tip, a tidbit or a top-of-mind piece of advice we hope will help you now and later On the third day of training for interns […]

Your or you’re? Here’s how to remember

Pity the poor phrase “you’re welcome” because it often appears incorrectly as “your welcome.” The two words have different meanings and uses, and here are some tips to help you choose the right one. The possessive is “your” — it means something that belongs to you. The contraction is “you’re” — it means “you are.” […]

How to spot a dangling modifier

If you want to be a good grammarian, then avoiding (or spotting and fixing) a dangling modifier will set you apart. It’s simple, really. Here are some tips to help you remember. What is a dangling modifier? It is a word or phrase in a sentence that does not refer to or modify what comes next […]

How we speak is how we write

Funny how a seemingly simple conversation about tangerines and clementines can spark a lively exchange about language. Here is how it went: Me: Try some of this clementine. It’s really sweet. Other person: What is a clementine? Me: It’s like a tangerine, but it has no seeds. Other person: Why are you saying it has […]

Start with the basics when editing

In my editing class this week, we went over some common errors that should become second nature for editors to recognize and fix. The exercise was a test, of sorts, to see how much the students remembered from previous stories they edited. Among the errors: Arrested for. It’s a phrase that convicts the person. Instead: […]