Proofreading Tips

Writing Relevant Racial Terms: Black and African American

2023-01-19T00:13:26+00:00January 25th, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

February is Black History Month, so let’s brush up on how to write some key terms that may appear in your content.  First, when describing someone's race, ask the person their preference. In 2020, the Associated Press updated its style guide to capitalize Black when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context. [...]

Gray vs. Grey

2022-12-27T19:14:31+00:00December 27th, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

Is it grey or gray? It's really just a matter of vowels. No difference exists in meaning between these two versions of the same word, whether used as a noun, adjective or verb. Grey is more commonly used in British English, while gray is typically used in U.S. English. But be mindful of spelling for [...]

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Whether vs. whether or not

2022-10-24T01:50:28+00:00November 16th, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

“Whether” is a useful word to distinguish between two different scenarios, categories and more. But using "or not" with it can be redundant and a waste of space.  For example:  I wonder whether it will rain much this monsoon season.  I wonder whether or not it will rain much this monsoon season. In the above [...]

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When to use “penultimate”

2022-10-21T21:06:47+00:00October 21st, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

When else could you present a monthly grammar lesson on the word penultimate? See what we did there? If not, don't worry: Penultimate is just a fancy way of saying "next to last." Examples:  November is the penultimate month of the year. The penultimate rider out of the gate in the Tour de France time [...]

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When to Use However, Although and Though

2022-09-19T19:31:57+00:00September 19th, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

Let's start with the definitions of each of these words:  However can mean:  In whatever manner or way | Example: "I will support you however I can." To whatever degree or extent | Example: "The medical team couldn't convince him to get regular checkups however hard they tried." In spite of that | on the [...]

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Which vs. That

2022-07-24T21:55:11+00:00August 24th, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

Which do you use? That one! The answer is simple: In a defining clause, use "that." In a non-defining clause, use "which." In other words, "which" and what comes after it is disposable. If you can take the whole clause out without destroying the sentence, you can use "which."   Examples: Dr. Rafa Almodovar requested [...]

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Prepositions at the End of a Sentence

2022-07-24T21:33:15+00:00July 24th, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

Prepositions at the end of a sentence: Is this still wrong? Yes! No! There's quite a bit of disagreement here at Active Voice, but that's because prepositions are a matter of preference.  For example: Who do you work for? For whom do you work? Do you have a preference? (Disclosure: Our AVC proofreaders wish we’d [...]

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Gender-Neutral “They,” “Them” and “Their”

2022-07-26T18:02:20+00:00June 22nd, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

As the world becomes more cognizant of gender identity and fluidity, so, too, must our copy. Traditional grammar rules lay out subject-verb agreement, but what happens when you're referring to someone who uses they/them/their as a pronoun?    According to AP Style: "They, them, their — In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in [...]

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“Gibe” or “Jibe”? 

2022-03-01T01:56:08+00:00May 25th, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

“To gibe” is defined as to taunt or sneer (“gibe” is also a noun, meaning a taunt), while “jibe” indicates a directional change or to agree.  For example:  The friends’ stories about what happened last night didn’t jibe.  The young pitcher tried to ignore the gibes from the stands. And while some dictionaries suggest these [...]

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“Try to” vs. “try and”

2022-05-24T20:52:54+00:00April 20th, 2022|Proofreading Tips|

Let's try to understand the difference between these two options. For starters, you can also try and understand the difference.  The prevailing argument is that "try to" is more correct because when the verb "try" is followed by an infinitive verb, the infinitive needs to be preceded by "to."  However, that's not a hard-and-fast rule [...]

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