Tag Archives: redundancies

Some Fun with UP: A Much-Used Two-Letter Word

UP is much-used and sometimes redundant wordAs we venture into that time of year we refer to as “the holidays,” let’s take a moment to have a little fun with grammar. The tiny word UP has more uses than you might guess. It can be an adverb, a preposition, an adjective, a noun and a verb.

As often as UP appears in this post, this Ruthless Editor must point out that UP often is redundant.

Yet UP is so ingrained in our vernacular that sometimes even I don’t give it a thought. How about you? Are you UP for it? Continue

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3 Worst Places to Make Grammar Mistake: News Headline, Report Title, Email Subject Line

www.RuthlessEditor.comNews headlines draw us into a story. Report titles summarize what our readers can expect. Email subject lines should do both.

That’s why these are the three worst places to make a grammar error.

Here are four headlines that don’t pass my Ruthless Editor grammar test and how they could be better: Continue

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7 Headlines, 8 Grammar Lessons

In the past, I’ve used headlines to show how to — but more often how NOT to — write or speak. Examples teach best.

This post’s seven headlines comprise three good and four bad examples that involve correct word use, incorrect word use, and redundancies.

One headline boasts a double whammy: two grammatical errors in just nine words!

Please know that the frequent appearance of the name Trump is simply due to the fact that so many headlines have been and continue to be about him. Continue

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Redundancies Make Me Want To Scream!

screaming_womanDo you have days when what should be minor irritations really get on your nerves?

So do I.

Are you sometimes so bombarded by messages from every source — human and electronic — that you’re on constant overload?

So am I.

With the amount of communication we all need to process daily, we owe it to each other to make our messages concise. That means avoiding redundancies.

Reminder: To see if a word might be redundant, question whether it is necessary for the reader to understand your message:

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Got Grammar Pet Peeves? You’re Not Alone

annoyed_grammar_pet_peevesI invited those of you on my email list to share your grammar pet peeves, and the results are in!

First: What is grammar? Grammar encompasses the words we choose and how we punctuate them — how we string them together.

Words give our sentences meaning, and punctuation marks tell us when to pause or stop, when to raise our voice or show emotion, when we’re asking a question versus making a statement.

Here are your pet peeves: ways others speak and write that you find annoying. They’re alphabetized so you can skim and select what interests or resonates with you. I’ve commented here and there and added examples. Continue

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Report Of Alligator In Restaurant Delivers Plan vs. Preplan And Other Grammar Lessons

Alligator photo - alligator in the newsAn astute reader of this blog sent me a link to a report about an alligator named Albert who made a three-hour appearance at a new Midwest restaurant as part of a grand-opening event.

The restaurant owner could be considered short of possessing common sense, not to mention lacking understanding of safety and sanitation codes.

The writer of the article also could be considered short of something — short of possessing what my reader and I consider a mastery of grammar.

Consider this for starters: Continue

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Headlines: The Good, The Bad, And The Lessons They Offer

Headline errors provide grammar lessonsHeadlines, along with photos or graphics, catch your attention and draw you into a story.

An error in a headline is much more apt to be seen than an error within the story. I’ve always considered a headline error and a misspelled name the two most egregious mistakes a writer/editor can make — and this Ruthless Editor has made her share.

But errors provide grammar lessons, so when I read something that hits me wrong, I stop to copy/paste it into a Word document for future blog material.

Headlines that avoid common errors also catch my attention. Here’s my latest batch from online news and blogs: Continue

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Political Punditry Plagued With Redundancies

Redundant langauge at press conferencesUnscripted conversations rarely come off as smoothly or as grammatically correct as do planned remarks.

But those who make their living as political pundits, journalists or candidate representatives should have a pretty good handle on language and how they phrase their comments.

So why are we tuning in to the political commentary of the day and hearing a bounty of redundancies flying over the airwaves? Continue

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Reader Irritated by Redundant Weather-Forecast Terms

Weather icon - A look at redundancies in the weather forecast“It drives me nuts when my local weather forecasters use ‘evening hours’ to describe the weather in the evening,” a reader complains.

“They also say ‘morning hours,’ ‘afternoon hours’ and ‘overnight hours.’ Wouldn’t it be sufficient to simply use morning, afternoon, evening and overnight?”

Because of my ruthless editor’s acute sensitivity to redundancies, my first inclination was to agree. Then I started to pay attention to my local weather reports, and I noticed the same tendency to add “hours” to a time of day or time span.

Is this what meteorologists learn when they train to be television weather forecasters? I wondered.  Continue

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