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Probably you’ve never studied Conversational Viking, let alone claimed to speak it. But the language of the Vikings, Old Norse, has influenced the development of English more than any other language besides French and Latin. The Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders, and Danes all spoke Old Norse in those days, usually called the “Danish tongue.” In the 11th century, Old Norse was the most widely spoken European language, ranging west with Leif Erickson’s colony of Vinland in modern-day Canada, east with the Viking settlers on the Volga River in modern-day Russia, and south with warriors battling in modern-day Spain, Italy and North Africa.

Four centuries after the Anglo-Saxons began emigrating from northern Europe, Danish Vikings began raiding Britain and had begun settling down by the year 876, plowing the land. The 14 shires dominated by Danish law in northern and eastern England were called the Danelaw. In 1016, King Canute the Great became ruler of all England, even before he became king of his native Denmark. Danish kings ruled England almost until William the Conquerer sailed from Normandy, France and became the first Norman king of England in 1066. When he did, more Norse words entered English. What did William the Conquerer have to do with the Vikings? Because Normandy means “land of the north men,” colonized by people such as William’s ancestor Rollo, whose real name was Hrólfr. See a pattern?

Today Old Norse words are most common in the Yorkshire dialect, but the Danelaw included the East Midlands, York, Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk, Northampton, Huntingdon, Bedford, Hertford, Middlesex and Buckingham.

Old Norse words used in modern English

When it comes to English words for which we are indebted to Old Norse, let’s start with they, their and them. It’s true. If it weren’t for the Vikings, we might still be using the Old English words hîe, heora and him instead. Or maybe not – when him and them mean the same thing in a language, you know it’s time for a change.

In fact, English received many really, really common words from Old Norse, such as give, take, get, and both. And sale, cake, egg, husband, fellow, sister, root, rag, loose, raise, rugged, odd, plough, freckle, call, flat, hale, ugly, and lake.

Another Old English word that was quickly replaced was the very short word æ, which meant law. Today we use a longer and less ambiguously-spelled Old Norse word: law.

Many English words that begin with sk or sc came from Old Norse, such as skin, sky, score, scant, scrub, scathe, and skill.

Old Norse words that feature two-letter blends and a high consonant-to-vowel ratio just sound Viking to me, especially if you pronounce both letters as the Vikings originally did: knife, snare, snub, wrong, bread, dwell, bask, dream, steak, stammer, and especially thwart.

Old Norse words that meant something slightly different

English word, with original Old Norse meaning

anger – trouble, affliction, which can make a person angry
bait – snack, food eaten at work. Now means food used to catch fish, wild animals, and susceptible people.
bask – similar to the Old Norse word meaning “to bathe”
berserk – either from bear-shirt (frenzied warriors wearing a bearskin shirt) or bare-shirt (frenzied warriors wearing no shirt)
blunder – to shut one’s eyes; to stumble about blindly
bulk – partition; cargo, as in the nautical term bulkhead
crawl – to claw. Crawling up a steep slope may require clawing.
dirt – excrement. Appropriately so.
gang – any group of men, as in modern Danish, not necessarily dangerous
gawk – to heed, as in paying too much attention
gift – dowry, a kind of wedding gift. In modern Danish, gift means wedding.
haggle – to chop. It amuses me to imagine how this word came to mean vigorous bargaining.
hap, happy – chance, good luck, fate. Apparently the Vikings didn’t believe that “happiness is a choice.”
lake – to play, which is what many people do at a lake. A famous Danish toy manufacturer is called Lego.
litmus – from the Old Norse words litr (dye) and mosi (moss), used as a chemical test for acidity and alkalinity.
muck – cow dung. An English dairy farmer may say he needs to muck out, or clean, his barn.
muggy – drizzle, mist. Today it means severely humid.
rive – to scratch, plow, tear. A poet might write about his heart being riven in two.
scathe – to hurt, injure. Only the opposite word, unscathed, is common. Gang members never say, “You come near me, I’m gonna scathe you.”
seem – to conform. Think about that for a while.
skill – distinction. If you are skilled, you might earn distinction.
sleuth – trail. The sleuth is always on the trail for clues.
snub – to curse. When you’re snubbed or ignored, you might feel cursed.
sprint – to jump up, one of the keys to winning in a sprint.
stain – to paint. Not the same thing at your paint store.
stammer – to hinder; to dam up, as in a flow of words
steak – to fry. Could the Vikings have introduced chicken fried steak to the American South? No.
thrift – prosperity. If you have thrift, perhaps prosperity will follow.
thwart – across, which has kept a similar meaning for sailors
window – “wind-eye” or in Old Norse, vindauga. A treasure of a word.

Old English words that meant something different before the Vikings

bread – In Old English, bread meant “bit, piece, morsel” but in Old Norse, bread meant… “bread.” We get our word loaf from the Old English word for bread which it replaced.
die – Before the Vikings, die meant “starve”
dream – Before the Vikings, dream meant “joy, mirth, noisy merriment,” even “music.”
dwell – Before the Vikings, dwell meant both “go astray” and “tarry.” I’m still trying to figure that one out.

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Writing essays can be tough … and sometimes you need all the help you can get.

The great news is that there are plenty of online tools that can help you write the best essay you can – and I’m going to be running through ten of the best.

Before we get into the list, though, here’s a huge caveat.

DO NOT use websites that write your essay for you.

When I researched this blog post, I found (to my horror) lots of lists of “essay-writing tools” that linked to essay mills as if those were legitimate writing tools. These essay mills are websites that sell essays for $200 – $500 each.

Let’s be very clear: if you pay someone else for an essay and hand it in as your own work, that’s cheating. You could get into serious trouble – maybe even thrown off your course. Plus, you might get horribly ripped off.

None of the tools in this post will help you cheat. All of them will help you write the best essay you can.

Of course, there are times when all the online tools in the world can’t help: when you’re taking your exams. If that’s the case, check out 7 Essay Writing Tips To Ace Your Next Exam to help you.

Here are ten tools that could help you with your next essay. I’ve split them into different categories of tools to help with planning and research, with writing, and with editing.

Tools to Help You Plan and Research Your Essay

Before you start to write an essay, you need to plan it (and probably do some research, unless you’re writing about a topic that you’ve already learned about extensively in lectures or in class). These tools will help you with the planning stage of the writing process.

#1: Essay Map (free), from ReadWriteThink

I’m a big fan of planning in advance – and this tool walks you through the process of planning an essay. You’re a bit limited by the format (three main ideas, each with three subpoints) – but if you’re new to planning, it could be a great place to begin.

You can save your finished map onto the computer, If you prefer to work on paper, you can also print a blank map to fill in.

Tip: This basic structure: introduction, conclusion, and three key points, each with supporting evidence, could work for other forms of writing too – like a blog post or article.

#2: Evernote (free), from Evernote Corporation

Evernote is like a set of online notebooks – where you can keep anything you like, from written notes to photos to videos. I keep all my work-related notes there, plus lots of administrative bits and pieces – it makes it really easy to find what I need.

Because you can login and access it from any computer or device, Evernote could be a great place to keep ideas and rough plans for your upcoming essays. You can search all your notes for a particular word or phrase, so it’s easy to find things that you wrote weeks or even years ago.

Tip: You can save whole webpages into Evernote at the click of a button if you use the Evernote Chrome extension.

#3: JSTOR (paid), from ITHAKA

JSTOR is an online archive of lots of different academic journals and books. Most universities have a paid subscription to it, so you can access it for free using your university credentials.

You can search JSTOR by author, subject (keyword), or title. You can see a screenshot above of the first couple of results for my search for “Samuel Richardson” (my favourite 18th century novelist).

Tip: If you don’t have access through your institution, you can sill access public domain resources on JSTOR for free, plus up to six articles per month – or you can pay for a “JPASS” for $19.50/month.

Tools to Help You Write Your Essay

Once you’ve got a plan for your essay, and you’ve gathered some useful books or journal articles to reference, it’s time to write. These tools will help you get that first draft down.

#4: Freedom (paid), from Freedom

This app and website blocker lets you block specific websites – great for when you want to focus but keep getting distracted. If you need access to the internet for other tools, that’s no problem: with Freedom, you can block specific sites (like Facebook and Twitter) or apps on your phone. You can also block the whole internet, if you want to.

Once you’re running a Freedom session, if you try to visit a blocked site, it simply won’t show up.

Freedom costs $6.99/month or $29/year: there’s a trial version available so you can give it a go before you buy, and there’s also a money-back guarantee. You can use Freedom on multiple devices at no extra cost.

Tip: If you want a free alternative to Freedom, Cold Turkey is a good option (as is StayFocusd, but that only works on Chrome).

#5: EndNote Basic (free), from Clarivate Analytics

EndNote is one of the best-known reference managing tools and you can use it online for free. You can search online databases / library catalogues (the free version only gives access to ones from the British Library, the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and PubMed) or you can create a reference manually by filling in a form.

If you have a number of different essays on the go, you might want to organise your references into different groups. Other students can also share their groups of references with you – useful if you want to collaborate with coursemates.

Tip: You can pay for a full version of EndNote (or your university may provide it) if you want to use advanced features, like accessing far more research database and attaching the full text of PDF sources to your reference database.

#6: The Oxford English Dictionary (paid), from Oxford University

If you study literature, linguistics, or any subject where you want an authoritative take on the origin of words, the Oxford English Dictionary is a fantastic tool. You need to login and access it online – which you can usually do through your university or local library.

Otherwise, you can purchase a monthly subscription as an individual – but it’s pretty pricy ($29.95 in the US, or £56+VAT for three months in the UK). So definitely check with your university or local library first, to see if you can access it through them.

Tip: The OED provides a lot more information than a standard dictionary, and entries might look a bit overwhelming at first. You can “Hide all” quotations, which makes them a bit more manageable if you don’t need the quotations or if you’re hunting through a few different words to figure out which one you want!

#7: Google Timer, from Google

It can be really tough to stay focused when you’re writing, even with distracting websites blocked. Sitting down and planning to write for a whole morning or afternoon doesn’t work well for most people – you simply can’t concentrate on an essay for that long at a stretch.

I like to use timers when I’m writing, to keep me focused and to break my writing session into short chunks. Around 30 – 45 minutes works well. (If you’re on a roll, you can always set the timer for another writing burst straightaway). While the timer’s running … you’re writing!

To set a timer in Google, simply search for “set a timer for X minutes” – e.g. “set a timer for 10 minutes”. The timer will appear on the screen and start automatically. WriteToDone has a bunch more tips on time management for writers.

Tools to Help You Edit Your Essay

Once your essay is written, you’re not done … you still need to edit. It’s a very good idea to separate the drafting process from the editing process, and if you’ve done that, your first draft may well be a little rough and ready in places. These tools will all help you get it into shape.

#8: Grammarly (free), from Grammarly

Grammarly uses artificial intelligence to help you with grammar, spelling and style. You can turn it on and use it as you write – which can be very helpful for things like emails – but if you’re writing an essay, you might prefer to draft first then use Grammarly afterwards.

It’s available as a Chrome plugin, and as a download for MS Office, so you can use it online or offline. Grammarly will flag up mistakes (like typos) but it’ll also spot places where you’ve used more words than you need or where you’ve used vague language.

As you can see above, you can click on an underlined work to see Grammarly’s recommendation for fixing it – clicking the “See more in Grammarly” link gives you more details about what’s wrong, helping you to get things right next time.

 #9: Hemingway (free), from Hemingway App

The Hemingway app works in a similar way to Grammarly, though with a focus on style and readability rather than on spotting typos and misused words. It’s named after the American novelist Ernest Hemingway, who was known for his clear, concise writing. You can access the app without logging in, simply by going to the website: copy or type in your chosen text.

It encourages you to avoid overly complex words and sentence structures: don’t feel that you need to change all of these (particularly in an academic essay, where a certain level of complexity is desirable!) – but do check any flagged words or sentences to make sure you’re happy with them, and that you don’t want to switch to a simpler alternative.

Tip: You can download the Hemingway app for PC or Mac, rather than using it online – but it’ll cost you $19.99.

#10: Thesaurus.com (free), from Dictionary.com

Do you ever struggle to find quite the right word? It happens to me a lot: I know what I want to say, but I can’t think of the very best way to say it. Or, I’ll have used a particular word already and I want to avoid using it too often (the principle of elegant variation).

A great way to broaden your vocabulary is to use a thesaurus to look up words with a similar meaning to the not-quite-right one that you’ve already got. Do make sure, of course, that you don’t simply pick a different word that you like the sound of: you want to get the one that precisely conveys your thoughts.

Tip: If you want to find some options for the opposite of a word, Thesaurus.com can do that too – scroll down past the list of synonyms to the antonyms.

What tools do you use to help you write better essays? Have I missed something off the list that you’d highly recommend? Pop a comment below to tell us about it.

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Daily Writing Tips by Mark Nichol - 1w ago

Market and attendant words, deriving from the Latin verb mercari, meaning “trade,” are listed and defined in this post.

Market, referring to a place where goods are sold, migrated to English through an ancient Germanic language, and by extension it now also pertains to a geographic region or a demographic targeted for selling of certain goods or services, or an opportunity for selling or a supply of or demand for goods or services. As a verb, the word means “sell” or “make available for sale.” Mart is a synonym as both a noun and a verb, while a supermarket is specifically a large grocery store. Marketplace is a synonym for market in its various meanings, though it may also refer to competition for dominance among various ideas or ideologies.

A marketer is someone involved in promoting or selling a service; the profession is called marketing. Something possessing qualities that make it amenable to being sold, or someone whose qualities will make him or her appealing to employers or the consumer public, is said to be marketable.

Aftermarket refers to the system of providing accessories and parts for a product or to a system for reselling a certain type of products, as well as the general market for stocks.

A farmers’ market is a place where produce and sometimes homemade foods (and even crafts) are sold informally, while a flea market is where people sell goods informally, including used products but often new and sometimes self-produced manufactured products as well; both are usually held outdoors.

The stock market is a system in which trading of securities for investment purposes is conducted.

A black market is an informal network of trade of restricted or prohibited goods; occasionally, the phrase may refer to an actual location where such goods are sold. As black-market, the term is a verb referring to buying or selling in the black market. A seller is called a black marketer or black marketeer, and the action is black marketeering.

The adjective upmarket means “appealing to the wealthy” or “of high quality” (it also serves as an adverb); down-market pertains to low-income consumers or low quality.

Mercer, a British English term for a dealer in fine fabrics, also survives as a surname. Mercenary, meaning “one who serves for wages,” usually refers to a soldier-of-fortune, but as an adjective, in addition to referring to one who enlists in a foreign army or fights for a private client, means “greedy” or “venal.”

A merchant is a shopkeeper or trader, although occasionally the word serves as slang referring to someone with a particular talent, such as in the phrase “speed merchant” for a fast sprinter. It also is an adjective pertaining to trading or used as in the phrase “merchant marine,” which denotes, collectively, the commercial ships of a particular nation or the crew members of these ships. (Merchantman is an obsolete synonym for merchant; it was also used during the Age of Sail to refer to a ship carrying goods for trade.) The adjective mercantile, meanwhile, means “pertaining to trading,” while merchandise refers to goods that are sold (while a merchandiser is someone who sells goods), and the the word also serves as a verb meaning “buy and sell” or “promote.” The act or practice of selling goods is merchandising.

Commerce is the large-scale buying and selling, generally involving transportation over long distances (though the word also has rarer senses of “exchange of ideas and opinions” or “sexual intercourse”). The adjective is commercial, which also functions as a noun to denote an advertisement using moving images, sound, or both. Online buying and selling is called e-commerce, where the e is an abbreviation for electronic, as in email (sometimes styled e-mail).

One word unexpectedly related to mercari is mercy, from the idea of a price paid. Mercy is compassion or leniency, a fortunate occurrence, or a divine blessing. (The term is also sometimes uttered as an oath of pleasure of surprise, as in “Oh, mercy me!” though it is old-fashioned.) To be merciful is to exhibit compassion or forbearance, and the adverbial form is mercifully; mercy itself occasionally serves as an adjective, as in the phrase “mercy killing,” referring to killing a person or an animal to end suffering.

Another is Mercury, the name of the fleet-footed Roman messenger god, who was also the god of commerce—and travel and, ironically, theft—and that of the planet named for him. The name of the element mercury, which in its liquid form moves very quickly, was also inspired by the swift Roman deity.

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Hard rules are a good thing for writers sometimes. The sonnet is one of the strictest forms of poetry, but some of the world’s greatest poems are sonnets. A haiku form is even stricter, seventeen syllables in three lines. Hard word counts force a writer to overcome his or her natural laziness by editing ruthlessly. Because writers have no choice but to keep on ruthlessly editing and shortening until the piece is short enough, their job becomes easier, paradoxically. With fewer choices, decision-making becomes faster. There is only room to make one main point, and once you decide what it is, there’s no need to struggle to fit any others in.

Tighten Your Writing

Ruthless editing becomes a necessary skill because some short writing opportunities have very hard word count limits. For example, each of my monthly allotment of academic journal abstracts could never exceed 150 words, After I completed them, they were loaded into a searchable database – your local library may have a subscription to it. The database included fields for the author, title and publication, each with limited lengths, but the abstract field in the database could only hold 150 words. So I had to keep editing and reediting until my abstract was less than 150 words. It was a hard rule that could not be broken.

Builders talk about load-bearing walls. When you’re remodeling your house, if you want to open up the floor plan or provide more space, maybe you decide to remove a wall. That’s fine, unless the wall is a load-bearing wall. If you remove a load-bearing wall, part of the building will fall down. As you remove sentences or words, parts of the sentence or paragraph that used to be cosmetic become load-bearing. This is a good thing: it makes you pay more attention to what you’re writing. It requires your writing to be more efficient. And that makes your writing easier to read, because there is less fluff to read through, and it makes your writing more powerful.

Ruthless editing can lead to honest evaluation. Summarizing your work in a shorter form, as in a pitch letter or synopsis, provides you a reality check on what you wrote. If you can’t briefly present your work without sounding ridiculous, maybe (I gently suggest) maybe it is ridiculous.

Help the Reader

Besides the invigorating, astringent benefits to the writer learning to edit ruthlessly, brief writing benefits the reader too. The human mind can only hold so many thoughts and words at once, just as a computer screen or the page of a book can only hold so many words. So for example, academic researchers need abstracts to be brief so that several can be compared on a single page or computer screen. Short summaries let readers get a taste of the writer’s ideas or many writers ideas in a small space and time.

By limiting the number of ideas in the summary, the writer also limits the number of ideas that need to fit into the reader’s head at one time. With fewer ideas to focus on, the reader has more room to think about them. With fewer words to move around in your head, words can be moved around more easily, compared, pondered and felt. Which is more effective: a single powerful, precise word or a string of twenty words that mean exactly the same thing and add nothing more?

Here are some tips for editing ruthlessly:

Cut Riskily

Set a goal for yourself, if your editor hasn’t already, to cut 10% from your draft. But why stop there? Choose a paragraph and cut out one-fourth. Or take a risk, let the adrenaline flow – and cut it down one-half. You’ll be surprised at how often the passage still works. (Often it won’t – that’s why it’s called a risk.) If it doesn’t work, simply restore the cut passage from your recently saved draft.

Some reasons why such ruthless cutting often works:

  • You may find you had more fluff than you thought. The passage still works because the cut part never did.
  • You may find that the cut part wasn’t as necessary as you thought. Only when it’s gone do you realize you can live without it. It was pulling some weight, but not so much. If you want, take the best words from it, use them elsewhere, and move on.
  • You may find that your reader doesn’t need the cut part to figure out what’s happening. When a character leaves the room, your reader will assume the character went through a door without being explicitly told.
Make Less More

Even if I increase it to 1,000 or 100,000 words, I still can’t improve on the classic six-word-novel:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

No one is saying that War and Piece would be improved if it were edited down from 587,287 words to 1,000 words. If you want to deal with five families and the Napoleonic War, you will need a lot of words. But a key to ruthless editing – and having the heart to do it in the first place – is being able to see when you have gained more than you’ve lost by cutting words.

Maximize Your Space

If you have a limited number of words to work with, make each word carry its weight. For example:

The river flowed through the river bed, making a sound like thunder.

We can cut some of those words without losing any meaning. Rivers always flow, usually through river beds, and thunder is always a sound. Changing it to “The river thundered” or “The thundering river” says as much in three words as the original sentence did in eleven – really, it says more. Now I have to find a new, sleek sentence to put them into. It will take a little work to make the most of them, just as it takes a little work to make the most of the garlic chives I just harvested from my garden. But should I give up a good thing because it takes work?

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Publish your book with our partner InstantPublisher.com! Professionally printed in as few as 7 days. Original post: Be a Ruthless Editor

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Will robots eventually have writers out of a job?

Are we going to see computers writing the next Great American Novel?

Probably not … at least, not any time soon.

Over the last decade or so, though, AI (Artificial Intelligence) has become increasingly sophisticated … and it’s influencing the world of writing in a number of interesting ways.

What is AI, Anyway?

AI is all about machines learning and adapting. Instead of simply being programmed in minute detail with everything they need to know to accomplish a particular task, they’re programmed with instructions that allow them to learn from their experience (just as people do).

There’s no one standard definition of AI, but ZDnet suggests some common features:

AI systems will typically demonstrate at least some of the following behaviors associated with human intelligence: planning, learning, reasoning, problem solving, knowledge representation, perception, motion, and manipulation and, to a lesser extent, social intelligence and creativity.

Here are six key ways in which AI is changing the face of writing … and reading.

#1: Translation from One Language to Another

In the past, if you wanted to translate a passage of text from one language to another – say from English to Spanish – you needed to find someone who spoke both languages.

Ten years ago, you could use a service like Google Translate, which essentially ran all the words through an English-Spanish (etc.) dictionary … with questionable and sometimes hilarious results.

In 2016 Google Translate had a major upgrade. Instead of translating word by word, it now translates more accurately by phrase or sentence – through an AI system. It even invented its own language to help.

Writers could potentially use Google Translate to translate their whole book into another language for free. (Note: I’m not recommending you do this, unless you have a native translator lined up to do some extensive editing!) As the technology develops further over the years to come, this could be great news for publishers and self-publishing authors … but worrying for professional translators.

#2: Automatic Editing and Proofreading

You’re probably very familiar with the red squiggly line in Microsoft Word (and other word processing programs) that marks spelling mistakes. There are lots of tools out there, though, that can go far beyond helping you spot typos.

Software like Grammarly, for instance, uses AI to spot overly wordy phrases, vague language, instances of the passive voice, stylistic issues, and much more.

This is great news for writers, particularly non-native speakers, who may need an extra helping hand with what they’re working on – whether it’s an essay, a blog post, or simply an important email. It’s potentially less great news for professional editors – but so far, no tool is able to provide the big-picture substantive editing that a good editor can offer.

#3: Checking for Plagiarism

One problem that universities and publishers deal with is the possibility of plagiarism. While a quick Google search for a couple of lines from a document can be enough to spot egregious forms of plagiarism, if a student or writer has changed, say, one in every five words, it’s a lot tougher to spot.

When it comes to students’ essays, they might be plagiarising from another student’s (unpublished) work, rather than a published source. This could be easy to spot within one institution – but not if the student has borrowed, or even bought, an essay from a friend at another university.

There are solutions out there, like Turnitin, that check submitted work against their vast database, flagging up cases where there’s a match between the submitted work and existing sources.

But AI is also increasingly being used in this area, with an AI bot called Emma Identity (reported on here by LifeHacker) being used to figure out the authorship of a piece of text. While this is essentially just a fun tool for now, it could eventually be used to combat plagiarism.

More worryingly, though, this type of technology could potentially be used to unmask authors writing under a pen name, if they’ve also written under their own name – or to uncover the authorship of anonymous posts on internet forums.

#4: Searching Through Audio Files

Although more and more content has been produced in video and audio format over the past decade, YouTube channels and podcasts haven’t diminished the amount of text online.

One huge advantage to text has always been that it’s searchable – and video and audio aren’t. If you want to find out a specific fact or dig into on a particular point of interest, text is definitely the easiest medium to work with.

However, audio search is becoming a reality – through the power of AI. Computers can increasingly decode sound – think of Siri, for instance, or Alexa – and audio search takes this further. Apps are already available: Castbox, for instance, bills itself as “the search engine for spoken audio”.

What does this mean for writers? It’s not necessarily bad news. Newer types of text, like scripts for videos or outlines for podcasts, might become increasingly important. But as well as helping with audio search, AI could lead to even better dictation apps – potentially making it much faster to create written content, too.

#5: Crafting Breaking News Stories

You might be wondering by this point if AI can be used to actually write. Yes … but it’s not going to be producing works of literary wonder just yet.

Over the past couple of years, some breaking news stories have been written by AI, and there’s a great account of that in Wired here, explaining that a particular story was created by AI:

The dispatch came with the clarity and verve for which Post reporters are known, with one key difference: It was generated by Heliograf, a bot that made its debut on the Post’s website last year and marked the most sophisticated use of artificial intelligence in journalism to date.

The advantages for newspapers and websites are obvious: if AI can report on breaking stories, it makes it possible to get an article published almost instantly. No human needs to type a single word.

There’s a darker side to this use of AI, though: it could not only put journalists out of work, but it could also lead to a lot of low quality, derivative content – similar to content produced by low-paid “content spinners”.

#6: Influencing Readers’ Book Buying

Major online book retailers, like Amazon, rely on complicated algorithms to predict what books someone might be interested in, based on what they’ve already bought. If you’ve ever bought a book on Amazon, I’m sure you’ll have seen this in action!

This is generally seen as a positive use of AI: it helps readers to discover books that they’ll hopefully enjoy, and it helps authors to be discovered by readers who might not otherwise have come across their work.

Even so, it could be a drawback for, say, independent book stores and librarians: why consult an expert about what to read if an algorithm can recommend books to you automatically?

Whatever you write, there’s a good chance that AI will become more and more a part of your writing experience as time goes by – even if you barely notice it. Perhaps you’re already using a tool like Grammarly, for instance, or maybe you rely on dictation software to produce content quickly.

How do you think AI is changing writing? Do you think it’s a net positive or negative for working writers, editors, publishers and journalists? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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This post lists words derived from words in other languages as a result of folk etymology, a process by which speakers adopt the foreign terms after revising them by using existing elements from their native language.

bumblebee: This word stems from the Middle English word humbul-be, but by association with bombeln, meaning “boom” or “buzz,” the initial sound changed.

caterpillar: The word for a butterfly or moth larva stems from the Old French word catepelose (“hairy cat”); the alteration of the third and fourth syllables to -pillar (from Middle English piller, meaning “plunderer”) may have developed from the notion of its destructive effect on plants.

cockroach: This word is derived from the Spanish term cucaracha and employs two words that, when combined, sound similar to the original word.

cockatoo: This bird’s name is from the Malay word kakatua by way of the Dutch term kaketoe.

crawfish/crayfish: Although these are variations of a name for an aquatic animal, the second syllable in each is not equivalent to the word fish; the entire word, ultimately from a Germanic language, stems from the Anglo-French term creveis by way of the Middle English word crevis and is related to crab (and perhaps to carve).

geoduck: This name for a Pacific Northwest clam, which comes from a local Native American term, has nothing to do with ducks—or with the Latin prefix geo-, meaning “earth”; also, the spelling of the first two syllables is inexplicable, since they are pronounced like gooey.

greyhound: The first syllable of this word does not refer to the dog’s color; it is from the Old English term grieg, referring to a female dog.

lapwing: This word for a species of bird started out as the Old English term hlēapewince (“leap wink”), inspired by the bird’s flapping mode of flight.

mandrill: This word for a type of baboon derived from attempts of English speakers to pronounce the name of the animal in an African language.

mongoose: The animal’s name stems from mamgusa in Prakrit, an Indic language. (It has nothing to do with geese, so the plural is mongooses.)

muskrat: This animal is a rodent, but its name is not derived from its scent or its kinship with rats; the word from which it derives is of Algonquian origin.

peacock/peahen/peafowl: The first syllable of these words comes from pavo, the Latin (and Spanish) name for it. Peafowl is redundant, while peacock and peahen denote the male and female of the species.

polecat: The first syllable of this name for a mammal in the weasel family (also an alternative name for the polecat’s relative, the skunk) is derived from the French term poul (the base of poultry), from its barnyard depredations.

popinjay: This older term for a parrot, now exclusively applied to an arrogant person, is ultimately from the Arabic word babghā’.

quahog: This word for a type of clam stems from poquauhock, from the Narragansett language, and has no relation to pork.

sockeye: The name for a type of salmon does not refer to its eyes; it originates from an attempt to pronounce a Native American word for the fish.

wheatear: This thrush was originally called a wheatears; that name is a euphemism for “white arse,” a reference to its light-colored rump.

white rhinoceros: White, in the name of this animal, is not a reference to its color; it stems from the Afrikaans adjective weit, meaning “wide,” a description that distinguishes its wide upper lip from the pointed lip of the black rhinoceros.

woodchuck: This alternative name for the groundhog derives from the assignment of two English words whose sounds resemble those of a Cree word.

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Writing a resume can be really tough. You know you need to convince an employer that you’re the best person for the job – but how exactly do you do that?

It can be especially hard if you’ve been out of the job market for a while, and you feel that you’re not sure what’s required from your resume – or if this is the first resume you’ve ever written.

Don’t worry! We’re going to quickly recap the basics, before digging into some crucial tips for writing a winning resume.

What Is a Resume Anyway?

A resume is a document that lets employers know about your work history, your educational achievements, and your key skills. If you’re in the UK, a resume is commonly called a “CV” (curriculum vitae). (Note that in the US, you may hear “CV” used to refer to a long, academic resume.)

What Should a Resume Look Like?

While there’s no absolute rule on how your resume should be formatted, a quick Google Images search for “resume” will give you an idea of how most resumes look.

It’s normally unwise to do anything clever or cute with the format of your resume: employers want to get information clearly and easily from it, and you don’t want to risk standing out in a bad way.

Your resume should include the following information, in this order:

  • Personal Details (name, address, phone number, email address) – this goes right at the top of the first page. Normally, you should put your name in a large font as the title for your resume.
  • Personal Profile (optional) – a high-level summary of who you are and what you’re looking for from a job. This has become popular in recent years, though it’s not absolutely essential.
  • Core Skills (optional) – immediately beneath your personal profile, you can opt to include a bullet-pointed list of your core skills, so your prospective employer can quickly see what you’re good at.
  • Career History – list your past jobs, in reverse chronological order (the most recent job should come first on the page). It’ll usually be appropriate for your most recent job to have the most details.
  • Education and Qualifications – this should come after your career history, unless you’re fresh out of school / college – in which case it might make sense to give it greater prominence.

You can also include information about volunteering on your resume, especially if you have few or no previous jobs to write about.

Of course, you probably already know that you shouldn’t use coloured backgrounds, lots of unusual fonts, or anything else that makes your CV look odd and hard to read.

So how do you write a winning resume in 2018?

Tip #1: Tailor Your Resume to Each Position You’re Applying For

If you only follow one tip from this list, make it this one: your resume should be carefully tailored to the position you’re applying for.

Don’t view your resume as a document that you write once then forget about. Of course, you won’t be restarting from scratch every time – but you should make appropriate tweaks to highlight how exactly your past experience matches up the role you want to be considered for.

You’ll almost certainly find it helpful to …

Tip #2: Use the Job Advert to Guide You

Whatever job you’re applying for, there’ll be an advert detailing what the company is looking for. Use this to help you make it very clear that you have exactly what they need.

For instance, if the advert says they need someone “who’s adept with Microsoft Word”, you might include Microsoft Word in your core skills, or mention it in the description for one of the jobs you’ve had in the past. If they ask for someone with “experience managing a team”, you’ll want to make sure you emphasise this in your career history … even if it was only a relatively small part of one of your roles.

Tip #3: Present Information Chronologically

Although some people think that a “functional” CV can help show you in your best light, if you have an unconventional work history, this will lead employers to wonder what you’re hiding! As Allison Green puts it in “here’s the right way to format your resume” on Ask a Manager:

Functional resumes – which are focused on one long list of skills and accomplishments rather than connecting them to a chronological work listing – are widely disliked by employers, since they make it difficult to understand what the candidate’s work progression has been.

Stick with the standard reverse-chronological order instead.

Tip #4: Give Appropriate Weight to the Various Sections

Normally, it makes sense for your most recent roles and achievements to take up the most space on your resume. You don’t need to go into lots of detail about a job that you had for six months ten years ago … it’s not likely to be very relevant to your employer.

The same goes for your educational qualifications: if you’ve graduated college, your high school classes and GPA are no longer very significant. You can include them briefly, but don’t spend half a page of your resume on them.

Tip #5: Include Examples to Back Up What You’re Claiming

It’s not enough to say that you have “excellent time management skills” – it doesn’t mean anything, and it’s the sort of phrase that almost any candidate can use. Back up your claims with concrete examples. For instance, you could write:

Excellent time management skills: managed heavy workload in a busy department, prioritising and dealing with customer emails (frequently over 50/day).

Where possible, give figures: for instance, if you took on the task of writing newsletters to your company’s client base and this resulted in 10% more sales to customers on the newsletter list – say so!

Tip #6: Don’t Be Cutsey About Your Stay-at-Home Parenting

One rather cringe-worthy trend with resumes is for stay-at-home parents (both moms and dads) to describe their time parenting in terms of a job. For instance, James Wilkinson from Advice from Super Dad writes that:

If I was to include my stay at home dad role on a resume it would probably look something like this:

STAY AT HOME DAD
July 2011 – Present
Responsibilities /Achievements

  • Primary child care duties.
  • Design and implementation of household operational procedures.
  • Supervising, training and managing children and their needs.
  • Complaint resolution,
  • Household bookkeeping and finance management

Additionally you may have had to learn to meal plan and cook, to do cleaning and washing duties or a myriad of other assorted essential household and child rearing skills.

Now, I’ll be the first to say that being a stay at home parent is hard work – it’s a whole job and a half, at least. I’ve every respect for parents. But this sort of entry does not belong in your work history.

It looks silly, it makes you seem a little desperate for something to put on your resume … and it could also come across as quite insulting to a potential boss who may well have children of their own (and all of these duties to handle in addition to their job).

So what should you do?

The safest professional approach is to simply leave those years out of your work history: you can write a sentence in your cover letter to explain “from July 2011, I’ve been a stay at home parent”.

Tip #6: Keep it to Two Pages Maximum (Unless You’re an Academic)

In today’s digital age, you might think that it really shouldn’t matter if your resume doesn’t fit onto two sides of a sheet of paper. But it does! If your resume goes on for three or four pages, no-one’s going to want to read the whole thing … plus it makes you look like someone who’ll ignore professional norms.

If you absolutely need to fit in an extra paragraph or two, it’s better to go onto a third side than to squeeze all your text so that it’s tiny.

The main exception here is if you’re applying for an academic role, where you might well be listing your publication history, presentation experience, and so on in a longer CV. In this case, it’s often expected that your CV will run to three or four pages.

Tip #7: Use Bullet Points Where Appropriate

If you’re fresh out of school, you might think that bullet points look informal and odd. But in a business context, it’s completely normal to use bullet points to summarise information and to make it easy to take in.

You can find plenty of examples of resumes here on Live Career – this should give you an idea of how often bullet points are used!

Some key areas to include bullet points on your resume are:

  • Your core skills (probably in a list with two or three columns, rather than a single long list that leaves a lot of white space on the right hand side of the page).
  • Your duties for each of the previous job roles you’ve held
  • Your educational history and qualifications
Tip #8: Don’t Include a Photo of Yourself

This might seem like a strange tip, but it’s something that employers have increasingly mentioned as an issue – perhaps with the ease of taking and inserting digital photos.

You do not need to include your photo on your resume … however fantastic you look! Employers don’t (or shouldn’t) care what you look like, and it looks weird and unprofessional to put a photo of yourself on your resume.

(The main exception here is if you’re applying for a modelling or acting role, when of course it is appropriate to include a photo.)

You should avoid including any other images in your resume, too: for instance, don’t put in company logos from the places you’ve previously worked. You might think it looks slick, but it can cause problems with formatting, and it’s frankly a waste of your time. Stick to text alone.

Tip #9: Use a Professional-Looking Email Address

This might seem like a tiny thing … but your email address matters. If you’re using tequilalover@hotmail.com, it’s not going to create the best impression.

A free email address is fine, but make sure it’s something sensible (probably involving your name, and perhaps a number if no version of your name is available).

Some people – and I’ll admit I’m one of them – feel that a Gmail address looks better than Hotmail or Yahoo, because Gmail users tend to be a little more tech-savvy. The name of your email provider, though, really isn’t likely to make a lot of difference.

Tip #10: Triple-Check Your Spelling and Grammar

There aren’t many situations in life when a typo can be ruinous … but sending out a resume is one of them.

While most people would forgive you a tiny typo, a resume with several typos, or significant typos (like a misspelled company name) will inevitably make you look bad.

Proofread your resume as carefully as you can – there are some great tips here on Daily Writing Tips that should help.

If possible, get a second pair of eyes on it too: ask a friend to look over it and make sure you’ve not made any mistakes.

This is also a good opportunity to make sure that you’ve been consistent with formatting (e.g. that all your headers are the same size, font and style), and that everything looks polished (e.g. that you don’t have a single paragraph running over the page break – if you do, insert a manual page break to neaten it up).

Bonus tip: Make sure to check our previous article 44 Resume Writing Tips for additional points you can use..

I know there’s quite a bit to take in here, and you might feel overwhelmed before you’ve even begun on your resume.

One of the best ways to tackle any daunting writing project – resumes included – is to start with a small step. You might open up a fresh document and type in your contact details, for instance … then you’ve made a start.

I wish you the very best of luck with your job search, and I hope you find and land the perfect role for you.

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A phrasal verb is a verb consisting of two or more words—a verb and (usually) a preposition or a particle—that, when combined, describe an action. When formed into a closed or hyphenated compound, however, a phrasal verb is transformed into a phrasal noun, which can, alternatively, be employed as an adjective. This post explains the distinction, with examples.

Forming Phrasal Verbs

Take just about any basic verb, and it can likely be paired with one or more words to form a phrasal verb. (A phrasal verb is also called a compound verb, or a prepositional verb or a particle verb, depending on the function of the word following the verb, along with other names.) Consider walk, for example. One can walk in a line, out a door, through a tunnel, up a flight of stairs, down a street, on a rug, near a park, by a shop, off a cliff, or away from a fight. In many cases, however, a writer can name the action by combining the verb and the preposition or particle into a compound.

Walk-in, for example, describes someone who arrives at a location without an appointment, or it serves as a truncation of “walk-in refrigerator” or functions as an adjective in “walk-in closet” or “walk-in apartment.” A walkout, by contrast, is a labor strike or an action in which a number of people leave a meeting or a location to express disapproval. (Notice the inconsistency of treatment; the former word is hyphenated, while the latter is closed.) A walk-through is an inspection or a rehearsal, and a walk-up is a building with no elevator to the upper floors. (As an adjective, the word might refer to a window where a customer can be served without entering a business location.)

“Walk down” can also refer to an act of walking to help oneself recover from illness or poisoning or to wear someone down to exhaustion (“wear down” is also a phrasal verb), but—so far, at least—English-language speakers and writers have not felt a need for a corresponding phrasal noun. (That is the case with a couple of other phrasal verbs in this list.) But a walk-on is a small theatrical role (from the fact that such parts often involve an actor simply walking onstage, perhaps to deliver a message to a main character, for example) or a person who attempts to join an athletic team without an invitation or a scholarship offer. Walk-off, meanwhile, describes a final winning play in a baseball game.

Note that with any of the phrasal verbs listed, at best, a sentence’s meaning will differ if the preposition or particle is omitted; at worst, it won’t make sense. One can, for example, walk a line, but that means something different than a reference to walking in a line, while “walk a door” is meaningless. However, some phrasal verbs are redundant, though they are often used colloquially. Such phrases, which often unnecessarily pair a verb with up or down, include “climb up,” “meet up,” “rest up,” “sit down,” “stand up,” and “write down.” (One may climb down, but descend is a better alternative for that phrase.)

Note, though, that some of these redundant phrases can be legitimately repurposed as phrasal nouns or adjectives when hyphenated. For example, meet-up is an informal synonym for gathering, and a sit-down is a work stoppage or protest or a meeting convened to resolve a conflict or problem. (As an adjective, the term also pertains to a meal or a restaurant at which one is seated.) Meanwhile, a stand-up comic is one who performs while standing, though the term may also informally denote the quality of integrity (“He’s a real stand-up guy”) or simply refer to something literally upright. The term alone can also refer to the entertainment form or a television broadcast with a similar setup—there’s another phrasal verb transformed into a compound verb—or to the performer.

“Write down” does not have a corresponding noun. However, the words write and up, though they do not form a phrasal verb (“write it up” comes close), are used, linked with a hyphen, to describe a report, review, or summary, as in “Did you see the write-up about the game in today’s paper?”

Numerous other examples exist. Note, however, that as in the case of walk-in and walkout, treatment of two words with a common verb may differ: One performs a turnaround but comes up with a work-around. A blow-up is not the same as a blowout, and the compounds are not styled the same. And though hand-down is not (yet) a word—it might someday be coined to describe an edict or pronouncement—a hand-me-down is something passed on (such as an article of clothing given to a child when an older sibling outgrows it).

When contemplating using a phrasal noun (or a phrasal adjective), first, use a dictionary to determine 1) whether the term exists and 2) whether the phrasal noun is hyphenated or closed. (And double-check that the adjectival form is the same as the phrasal noun. Exceptions exist, including the noun/adjective pairs castoff/cast-off and takeout/take-out.) For example, when one calls out, it is a callout, but when one logs in, it is (usually) a log-in. (Login is also employed; the correct form is the one that appears in the dictionary or style guide you consult.)

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First things first: what is the Oxford comma? Also called serial comma, it is a comma placed after the penultimate item in a list and before the conjunction “and” or “or.”

Here’s a sample sentence without the Oxford comma:

We traveled to China, Thailand and Japan.

And here is the same sentence with the Oxford comma:

We traveled to China, Thailand, and Japan.

The Oxford comma is the one after “Thailand.”

There is a hot debate around its use because this is technically an optional punctuation mark, and in some sentences it clearly helps understanding and removes ambiguity while in others it can be redundant at best and confusing at worst.

Making things worse, this punctuation device can sometimes have serious business implications. In 2017 a company settled for $5 million with its drivers because the absence of the Oxford comma in the law text created ambiguity about overtime compensation.

Author Lynne Truss once wrote: “There are people who embrace the Oxford comma, and people who don’t, and I’ll just say this: never get between these people when drink has been taken.”

Below you will find a compilation of opinions and recommendations from publications and style guides, so that you can decide for yourself whether or not to use it.

In favor of the Oxford comma

Maeve Maddox (English Ph.D. and DWT writer) (link)

After a lifetime of being wishy-washy about the serial comma, I’ve reached a decision: I’m going to use it all the time. Such a momentous decision is, of course, a deeply personal matter. The pros and cons are widely, frequently, and hotly debated.

My choice is to travel the path of otiosity for the sake of uniformity.

Mark Nichol (UC Berkeley instructor and DWT writer) (link)

I strongly favor the serial comma. Why?

In a sentence such as “I bought one apple, two bananas and three oranges,” no ambiguity exists. But in “I ordered ham and eggs, toast and jam and pie and ice cream,” the cavalcade of conjunctions gets confusing, and in contexts in which it’s not as clear which list items might be distinct and which might be linked, the absence of the final comma might require readers to reread the sentence to establish the organization. So, the solution in this case is to use a serial comma when confusion could arise.

Mary Cullen (Business writing instructor)

I recommend using the serial comma in business writing, since it is the customary convention. And, to me, it is much easier to consistently follow this convention, than to omit it most of the time and add it in when clarity is needed. Keep it simple.

The Chicago Manual of Style

When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series, a comma—known as the serial or series comma or the Oxford comma—should appear before the conjunction.

The Elements of Style

In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last.

MLA Style Guide (link)

Fair-weather comma users: publications that do not require the serial comma may use it only when misreading results. Proponents of the serial comma, like the MLA, would decry the inconsistency of the use-it-when-you-need-it approach and advocate using the serial comma in all series of three or more items or phrases.

Grammarly (link)

Unless you’re writing for a particular publication or drafting an essay for school, whether or not you use the Oxford comma is generally up to you. However, omitting it can sometimes cause some strange misunderstandings.

Against the Oxford comma (with exceptions allowed)

Associated Press Stylebook

Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not put a comma before the conjunction in a simple series. Put a comma before the concluding conjunction in a series, however, if an integral element of the series requires a conjunction:

I had orange juice, toast, and ham and eggs for breakfast.

The New York Times style guide (link)

Style guides for book and academic publishing generally would insist on another comma after “pears,” the so-called serial comma or Oxford comma. But news writing has traditionally omitted the serial comma — perhaps seeking a more rapid feeling in the prose, or perhaps to save time and effort in the old days of manual typesetting.

We do use the additional comma in cases where a sentence would be awkward or confusing without it: Choices for breakfast included oatmeal, muffins, and bacon and eggs.

University of Oxford stylebook (link)

Note that there is no comma between the penultimate item in a list and ‘and’/‘or’, unless required to prevent ambiguity – this is sometimes referred to as the ‘Oxford comma’. However, always insert a comma in this position if it would help prevent confusion

Canadian Press Stylebook

Put commas between elements of a series but not before the final and, or or nor unless that avoids confusion.

Penguin guide to punctuation

Note also that it is not usual in British usage to put a listing comma before the word and or or itself (though American usage regularly puts one there.) So, in British usage, it is not usual to write The Three Musketeers were Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

Conclusion

This discussion has basically two camps: those who favor the universal use of the Oxford comma for the sake of simplicity and uniformity; and those who are against it, except when it is necessary to remove ambiguity.

DailyWritingTips.com favors the universal use of the Oxford comma.

If you are still unsure about which style to adopt, Wikipedia has a list of clear arguments for and against the Oxford comma.

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This post outlines the functions of punctuation marks employed at the end of a sentence: the period, the exclamation point, the question mark, and ellipses.

Period
Periods are employed as terminal punctuation for statements other than questions or exclamations. In American English, periods precede a close quotation mark at the end of a sentence (with some technical exceptions in such fields as botany, linguistics, and philosophy). Periods also follow numbers and letters that precede each item in a vertical list.

When an abbreviation ending in a period closes a sentence (such as in “Such abbreviations are common in content pertaining to mathematics, science, etc.”), it does double duty as terminal punctuation; do not add a period. An exclamation point or question mark can follow such use of a period, but revision to avoid consecutive punctuation is advised.

See this post for information about the use of periods in abbreviation.

Exclamation Point
In formal writing, use of the exclamation point is rare, but it performs a useful function in expressing exclamation of surprise (“That’s absurd!”) or communicating an imperative (“Halt!”). It may also be employed to indicate enthusiasm (“Hi!”).

An exclamation point should replace, not accompany, a comma (“No!” she replied”), though an exception is made when the exclamation is part of the title of a composition or of a component of one (“Her latest painting, titled simply Yes!, is on display”; “The final chapter, ‘Where Do I Go from Here?,’ is essential reading”).

When both an exclamation point and a question mark are appropriate, choose one or the other, though in informal writing, an interrobang, a hybrid of both symbols, can be employed. Frequent use of the exclamation point, or use of two or more in succession, is distracting and should be employed only, for example, to signal in fiction writing the exuberance of a character. An exclamation point in parentheses indicates an editorial interpolation expressing alarm or surprise, as in “A speaker who seriously proposed summary execution (!) was heckled.”

Writers should take care to place an exclamation point before or after a close quotation mark depending on its function. Compare, for example, “John screamed, ‘Get out!’” and “You can believe I was shocked when Mary quietly responded, ‘I know the truth, because I was there’!” In the first sentence, the exclamation point, positioned inside the quotation marks containing John’s outburst, emphasizes the screamed command; in the second sentence, the exclamation point, located outside the quotation marks framing Mary’s reported comment but within those bracketing the reporter’s statement, signals the surprise the reporter felt about Mary’s unexpected but quietly uttered admission.

Exclamation points that are integral to a proper name (for example, in the company name Yahoo! or in the title of the television program Jeopardy!) are usually retained, though they may, especially in the former example, invite confusion. (Ambiguity is unlikely in the case of an exclamation point that is part of a word or phrase formatted in italics or boldface.)

Question Mark
A question mark is employed in place of a period to indicate an interrogative word, phrase, or full sentence—usually the latter, although it may follow a single word or a phrase functioning as a sentence, or one or more interrogative elements can be embedded in a sentence, as in “Was he feeling envy? resentment? humiliation?” (Alternatively, the last two words might be treated as one-word sentences: “Was he feeling envy? Resentment? Humiliation?”)

Question marks should not punctuate indirect questions (“The question is whether the initiative should be funded by taxpayers”), sentences ending with interrogative words (“Naturally, you might ask why”), or formal requests (“Would you please respond at your earliest inconvenience”).

A question mark may also replace or accompany an unknown quantity, as in “John Smith (1452?–1506) . . .” or “John Smith (?–1506) . . . .”

See also the discussion of exclamation points above; all the guidance after the first paragraph in that section applies to question marks as well.

Ellipses
When ellipses end an unfinished sentence, the implication is that the reader is familiar with the full sentence (“When in Rome . . .”), which is delivered in an offhand manner, or that the speaker is faltering (“I was just trying to . . .”). (To represent interrupted speech, use a dash rather than ellipses; see this post about the use of dashes as internal punctuation.)

When representing omission of one or more words at the beginning of a sentence that follows a full sentence, use a period and ellipses as shown here: “Finish each day and be done with it. . . . Tomorrow is a new day.” When indicating elision of one or more words at the end with a complete sentence, which is followed by another sentence, place the period for the first sentence after the ellipses as shown here: “I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience . . . . And I am horribly limited.” (The period is the fourth dot.) Do not place ellipses at the end of a quotation to indicate that more text follows the quotation in the source material.

The use of ellipses as internal punctuation is discussed in this post.

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