The Many Meanings of “Groom” and “Grooming”
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
4d ago
A formerly useful and innocuous set of words–groom, groomed, and grooming—has become a trope used primarily to stir anxiety and dread in parents. People who use words professionally may want to give some thought to taming some of the hysteria that has come to reside around these words. The noun groom Until recently, the noun groom denoted a person who looks after horses. They met at her stable when the groom took his niece, Claire, to riding lessons. The word probably began as a word for boy or man. The use of groom to denote a man on his wedding day is a shortening of the word bridegroom ..read more
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“Meaningless Buzzwords”?
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
2w ago
I read that a political commentator, whom I will not name, asserts that five particular terms are “meaningless buzzwords.” Labeling these particular words “buzzwords” sent me to my language sources to discover whether my understanding of the word is faulty. Here are definitions from my two main dictionaries. buzzword: noun, Originally and chiefly U.S. a keyword, a catchword or expression currently fashionable; a term used more to impress than to inform, especially, a technical or jargon term.—Oxford English Dictionary buzzword: noun, an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase ofte ..read more
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Mustn’t Have Done and Couldn’t Have Done
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
3w ago
A reader has asked for a post on the difference between “mustn’t have + past participle” and “couldn’t have + past participle.” He gives these examples: a) Ahmed failed the exam. He mustn’t have studied hard. b) Ahmed failed the exam. He couldn’t have studied hard. Before writing to me, the reader queried native English speakers of his acquaintance and received these answers. • Some native speakers say that ONLY the first example is correct. • Others say that both are correct. • Some say that “mustn’t have + pp” indicates a conclusion based on evidence. • Some say that “mustn’t have” suggest ..read more
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To Be a Writer
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
1M ago
There’s a saying that “everyone has a book in him.” Since self-publishing has become so easy, quite a few people seem to be trying to expel it. During the month of November, hundreds of thousands of people signed up to write a novel during NaNoWriMo. The annual ritual of National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 with 21 participants, six of whom finished the challenge of writing a manuscript of 50,000 words. In 2018 (the last year I’ve found stats for), 450,000 people signed up; 53,000 of them completed the challenge. How many of those produced a publishable novel is another question. As the ..read more
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GPT-3 Writing Assistant: What is It?
Daily Writing Tips
by Daniel Scocco
1M ago
Artificial intelligence is increasingly present in our lives, gaining new applications every day, including in the realm of writing! Generative Pretrained Transformer 3rd Generation, or GPT-3, is by far the most advanced technology of its kind, but, what is exactly GPT-3 and what can it do? If you want to try it out for yourself, check the list of AI writing generators we published last week. Most use GPT-3 behind the scenes! What is GPT-3? GPT-3 is an artificial learning model (implemented as a computer software) used for text production and manipulation. It uses a technique called Deep Lear ..read more
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4 Perennially Misused Words
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
1M ago
Some word pairs will probably always continue to be confused. Here are five such, all of which have been mentioned on this site in the past. The examples in this post date from recent months. pore: (verb) to examine closely Confused with pour: (verb) to transfer water or some other substance from a container. [Agents continue] to pour through the roughly 11,000 documents the FBI had obtained in its search. —CNN In fact, the agents continued to pore through the documents. rite: (noun) A prescribed act or observance in a religious or other solemn ceremony; a custom, habit, or communal practic ..read more
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List of Free and Paid AI Writing Generators
Daily Writing Tips
by Daniel Scocco
1M ago
Producing articles and other types of texts seems to be getting easier and easier with the arrival of AI writing generators. The vast majority of AI generators and assistants use GPT-3, a system developed by OpenAI and which is the reference in the market. In addition, it is interesting to point out that some of these tools are paid and others are available for free. Most tools mentioned in the list below include at least a free version or tier. 1 – SimplyWrite First of all, SimplyWrite is one of the most interesting tools for generating texts using artificial intelligence. After all, SimplyW ..read more
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Beginning an Email with Dear?
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
1M ago
A recent request for linguistic advice ends with a plea that makes me feel like Obi Wan Kenobi: O Maeve, … I hope you can help because the silent scream starts every time I send an email. You’re my only hope. The required advice concerns the appropriate salutation for an email. Struggling to avoid rudeness The DWT reader, who says, “for decades I’ve simply addressed emails with the name of the recipient,” has had his confidence shaken by a recent comment by Miss Manners in the Washington Post. This column convinced me that I’m the only person in the world who does this, and that people wil ..read more
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Converting Direct Speech into Reported Speech
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
2M ago
This post is in response to a recent reader request: I would be grateful if you could write about these two topics: Reported Speech and Indirect Speech. To clarify, “Reported Speech” and “Indirect Speech” are the same thing. I’ll assume that the reader intended to ask about the difference between Reported Speech and Direct Speech. Direct speech consists of the exact words spoken by someone. “I am glad to be here this evening.” Indirect or Reported Speech consists of a report made of what was said by another. The speaker said that she was glad to be there that evening. Direct speech requires ..read more
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A Plumb Interesting Set of Words
Daily Writing Tips
by Maeve Maddox
3M ago
When I saw the following passage on the Simon Schuster site, I was plumb surprised: When twelve-year-old Jamie Dexter’s brother joins the Army and is sent to Vietnam, Jamie is plum thrilled. I expect one of the last major publishers to get their spellings right. The words plum and plumb are homophones, but not synonyms. Admittedly, in the Middle Ages, the spellings hadn’t quite settled down, but for the past couple of centuries, the different spellings have become established and denote different meanings. Plum Literally, the word plum refers to the fruit of Prunus domestica. From the fruit ..read more
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