who’s trying to replace a familiar word with a foreign accent mark?

MORE BOOLSCHIDT “NEW USAGE” in writing! In sev­eral ar­ti­cles in what ap­pears to be Amer­ican Eng­lish, I found writers had added a tilde (~) be­fore an amount of money. For ex­ample, a sen­tence might read, “The cost of buying orig­inal copies of all six psy­che­delic al­bums by the Straw­berry Watch Pipers in near-mint con­di­tion is ~$4,000.” [Read more] “who’s trying to replace a familiar word with a foreign accent mark?”

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is the consistent misuse of “moot” is just a moo point anyway?

SEV­ERAL WORDS ARE MIS­USED with great consistently—and often great dexterity—on the in­ternet. “Moot” is one of them. Given that it can be used as a noun, a verb, and an ad­jec­tive, it’s not sur­prising that users get things mixed up and be­come mis­users and even abusers. While its use as an ad­jec­tive is what I want to ad­dress here, I might as well give you the whole shebang. [Read more] “is the consistent misuse of “moot” is just a moo point anyway?”

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capitalizing articles and prepositions in your title

IF YOU ARE GOING TO WRITE FOR PUB­LI­CA­TION, you need ac­cess to at least one Eng­lish lan­guage grammar and usage style­book. No matter how good a writer you may be, no matter how much ex­pe­ri­ence you may have, you will use that book fre­quently. (Un­less you have a pho­to­graphic memory). [Read more] “capitalizing articles and prepositions in your title”

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the heyday in the blood is tame (and what is a heyday?)

I JUST PUT the fin­ishing touches on a rewrite and up­date of an old ar­ticle of mine on ’60s teen model Colleen Corby. While rereading the text and checking to see if the im­ages were linked to their source, the opening sen­tence caught my at­ten­tion. It read, “The term ‘su­per­model’ didn’t exist when Colleen Corby was in her glory days during the 1960s.” [Read more] “the heyday in the blood is tame (and what is a heyday?)”

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those fabulous furless geek brothers (rendered unimportant by recent events)

THE BIG BANG THEORY is an end­lessly re­watch­able show: aside from the fab­u­lous char­ac­ters and the in­ter­twining of their per­sonal lives, the di­alog is chock-a-block full of humor of all sorts, from the zany to the kind that re­quires the viewer ei­ther have a rea­son­able IQ or ac­cess to the In­ternet to look things up. [Read more] “those fabulous furless geek brothers (rendered unimportant by recent events)”

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oops! I do not think that means what you think it means

THE HEAD­LINE caught my at­ten­tion, as it was sup­posed to: “Ad­vanced OOP For Word­Press.” As should be ob­vious to most people fa­miliar with news­paper, mag­a­zines, and now on­line ar­ti­cles, the head­line is usu­ally the first thing that most readers see in any ar­ticle.  [Read more] “oops! I do not think that means what you think it means”

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if william strunk was a typographer, would he omit needless spaces

THE EL­E­MENTS OF STYLE has been around for al­most one-hundred years, but it didn’t start its march to uni­versal ac­claim until 1959. That year saw the first edi­tion of William Strunk’s little book ex­panded from 43 pages to 78 pages by “co-author” E.B. White. Forty years ear­lier, Pro­fessor Strunk had pub­lished the book as a guide for his stu­dents at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. [Read more] “if william strunk was a typographer, would he omit needless spaces”

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my forte is not my fortay, it’s just my fort

WE HEAR IT AND WE SAY IT, usu­ally in­cor­rectly! The word “forte” is al­most uni­ver­sally mis­pro­nounced! I can’t say it’s a part of every­one’s daily vo­cab­u­lary, but if you read enough you’ll come across it reg­u­larly. It was mis­used in a couple of movies we watched re­cently and that mo­ti­vated me to write this ar­ticle. [Read more] “my forte is not my fortay, it’s just my fort”

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on william strunk and vigorously concise writing

WILLIAM STRUNK JR was Pro­fessor of Eng­lish at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. In 1918, he self-published a guide for his stu­dents on Eng­lish usage and writing called The El­e­ments Of Style. The slim book con­sisted pri­marily of eight “el­e­men­tary rules of usage” and ten “el­e­men­tary prin­ci­ples of com­po­si­tion” ac­com­pa­nied by a “few mat­ters of form.’ [Read more] “on william strunk and vigorously concise writing”