American English

Which Word Wednesday: Toward vs. Towards

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Lynne Truss—author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves—compares herself to the little boy from The Sixth Sense. She says that instead of seeing dead people, she sees dead language. I can also see dead language. I also see lifeless punctuation. It’s the little things that make my ears itch, like the…

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Which Word Wednesday: Awhile vs. A While

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In our society, choices abound. We can choose from 10 kinds of cheddar cheese and 85,000 different coffee combinations from Starbucks (supposedly). We want things made-to-order and made-for-me. It’s the American way. But what happens when that mentality is applied to language? That’s when we get American English. Take this…

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Which Word Wednesday: Flair vs. Flare

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My creative-writer side sometimes battles with my stickler-grammarian side. The creative-writer wants to coin new words and phrases—this side of me wants to create new rules or bend the ones that already exist. The stickler-grammarian wants to follow the tried and true Chicago Manual of Style—this side of me wants…

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