bass or base chord or cord

Homophones for Music Lovers: Turn up the Bass and Play a Chord

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings. Many homophones also have different spellings, and all too often, people mix them up. The result is an onslaught of misspellings throughout the written universe. Although these mistakes are understandable, they are problematic since they are contagious. If someone sees a homophone used incorrectly or…Read More

grammar rules that and which

Grammar Rules: That and Which

There’s a lot of confusion about that and which. These two words are often used interchangeably, even though they’re not necessarily interchangeable. Historically, that and which may have carried the same meaning, and some English dialects may allow for that and which to be swapped without affecting the meaning of a sentence. However, in American…Read More

How to use a semicolon

Punctuation Marks: How to Use a Semicolon

Lots of people aren’t sure how to use a semicolon. The semicolon might be the most misunderstood punctuation mark in the English language. This dot-comma combination is often used where a period, colon, or even a plain old comma belongs. Underused and often abused, the semicolon is useful in a number of writing situations. Although…Read More

homophones

Homophones: Two, Too, and To

One of our readers wrote in to ask about the homophones too and to: “I was trying to find something on how and when to use ‘to and too’ I am having trouble in that area. I have trouble with that a lot and I tend to mess up with that. Can you help and…Read More

grammar rules ie and eg

Grammar Rules: i.e. and e.g.

Occasionally, we come across the abbreviations i.e. and e.g., but what do they mean, and what is the difference between them? How do grammar rules apply? These two terms originate in the Latin language and are just two of the many Latin phrases that have survived into modern language. Both i.e. and e.g. are abbreviations…Read More

parentheses

Punctuation Marks: Parentheses

Parentheses are among the most useful and versatile punctuation marks in the English language. They can be used effectively in both formal and casual writing, and the rules surrounding parentheses allow writers to use them for a variety of purposes. They just might be my favorite punctuation marks, simply because they provide a clear way…Read More

homophones - weather and whether

Homophones: Weather and Whether

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings. They confuse readers and writers, and are often the source of frustrating spelling mistakes. There are lots of tricks available to help you differentiate between homophones. In some cases, you can use mnemonics to remember which spelling to use. In other cases, you just have…Read More

fewer vs less

Grammar Rules: Fewer vs. Less

It’s a battle between words: fewer vs. less. Are they interchangeable? Do these words have different meanings? How can we use them correctly? Many people don’t realize that these two words do not share the same meaning and therefore cannot be used interchangeably. As a result, both fewer and less are often used incorrectly. The…Read More

quotation marks

Punctuation Marks: Quotation Marks for Fiction Writers

The placement of quotation marks perplexes a lot of people. Do they go inside or outside of other punctuation marks, like periods and commas? Should they be used to set off titles or to emphasize certain words? Are they¬†used for both spoken dialogue and thought dialogue? What about text messages or notes in a novel…Read More

Homophones: Compliment vs. Complement

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different meanings. Sometimes, they’re also spelled differently: compliment vs. complement. Since homophones sound the same, they are often misspelled. Sometimes they’re misspelled because the writer doesn’t know there are two different spellings. In other cases, misspelled homophones are the result of typing too fast or failing to…Read More

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