We started to wonder about the question words in the phrase "Who does what and goes where when."
Imagine the bragging rights: The OED needs your help antedating words. Why you should capitalize "Black." How playwriting techniques can improve your writing.
The Saharan dust plumes can make the sky red, but they aren't the source of the old saying "Red skies at night, sailor's delight. Red skies in the morning, sailor take warning." That comes from clouds! Also, we talk about which came first: "yikes" or "yoi
How to Write Fight Scenes (and How to Get Started as a Fiction Editor)
Why a Detective Searched for 'Clews' in a 1929 Novel. ‘Systemic’ or ‘Systematic’?
We started to wonder why people seem to forget the second half of the saying about bad apples. Plus, we settle a dispute about the difference between "a couple" and "a few."
Today I interviewed Roy Peter Clark, who has been teaching writing at the Poynter Institute since 1977 and regularly offers up fabulous writing advice. I appreciate his work, and I hope you will too.
How postal zones led to ZIP codes. Why I like to put a hyphen in "re-enter." How "bougie," which today has a negative connotation, came from an older word that meant simply "middle class."
If you've ever wondered how to capitalize 'ZIP Code' (or is that 'ZIP code' or 'zip code'?), this one is for you. Plus, I have an interview with Deirdre Mask about this history and importance of addresses in general. It's fascinating!
Our guest, Lindsay McMahon of the All Ears English podcast, recently hired and now shares the lessons she learned going through a lot of bad resumes and cover letters.
'Muslim' or 'Moslem'? 'Fishfolk'? 'Fishist'? What Is the Gender-Neutral Term for 'Fisherman'?
Here's why we say "cool your heels" and "cool your jets"—they're different! Also, we take a close look at the word "zhuzh" which means to make something more interesting or attractive. You may have never seen it spelled before, and there's a reason.
We know we can be overwhelmed. Why aren't we ever just whelmed? Also, maybe it was having cabin fever that made us start thinking about all the English idioms that use the word "fever."
From 19th century grammatical duels to modern day suicide prevention campaigns, the semicolon continues to inspire
The word "flaunt" and "flute" are strangely related (flute of shame, anyone?), but don't use either of them to mean "flout."
Why you could be forgiven for (briefly) getting excited about "Marshall Law." Plus, did you know the word "vaccine" is related to cows?
Times are terrible, but no matter what is happening, we will always have interesting words and phrases to explore.
Are you writing more email? We have seven ways to do it better. Also, we'll help you understand the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic and when you should use "canceled" versus "cancelled."
Sports fans say "Seltik." Historians say "Keltik." Here's the deal. Plus, have you ever noticed that Irish whiskey and Scottish whisky are spelled differently?