Don’t Rely on Spellcheck!

As a ruthless editor, I’ve long known that you can’t count on spellcheck to ensure your document has error-free spelling, perfect punctuation, accurate subject-verb agreement and flawless finer points of grammar. That being said, I still use it regularly to catch typos or obvious spelling errors. (Errors by me, a writer and editor by trade? Yes, […]

What Do i.e., e.g., et al. and etc. Have To Do With Romance?

When you talk about romantic language — flirting and paying compliments, for example — you’re talking about the language of romance (lowercase r). When you talk about Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian, you’re talking about the Romance languages (uppercase R). They are not called Romance languages because populations of these countries are known for or are […]

How to Use Apostrophes to Show Possession

Confused about where to place the apostrophe when you’re creating possessives? So am I — especially when a noun (person, place or thing) or proper noun (specific person, place or thing) ends in the letter s or ss. Consider these examples and how you would pronounce them: Like it? Share it!

Might vs May: Are They Interchangeable?

If you have trouble deciding when to use might and when to use may, this post is for you. As a writer and ruthless editor who strives for clarity, I prefer this clear distinction: might implies possibility Eric might go to the movie tonight. (There is a possibility Eric will go to the movie.) may […]

Hey Millennials: Don’t Forget the Interview Thank-You Note

According to most age guidelines, Jason Busch qualifies as a millennial (born 1980s through 1990s). That’s why I was so delighted to see his column, “The Power of a Thank-You Note,” in the April 2019 issue of In Business: Greater Madison (Wisconsin) magazine, where he is online editor. You’ll find plenty of folks who believe that […]

Is Alright the Same As All Right?

A blog follower sent me an email questioning all right versus alright and when each should be used. The query arose at her weekly writers group gathering. No one felt confident about the answer, so they reverted to what apparently is a common refrain when they hit a grammar roadblock: “Ask Kathy!” Let’s begin by […]

How NOT to Get a Job Interview: Poor Grammar in your Résumé

If you are looking for or will be looking for a job at some point in your life — that includes almost everyone reading this, right? — please consider what a business owner in the Detroit area found when he posted two open positions. The first was for a part-time customer service position, and the […]