Proofreading Tips

Is It Hanukkah or Chanukah?

2023-11-27T21:45:05+00:00October 21st, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

Happy Hanukkah/Chanukah — you're not wrong!  You've probably seen both of these spellings for the Jewish holiday that celebrates the miracle of a one-day oil supply lasting eight days after the Maccabean Revolt in the second century B.C.  While Hanukkah is more common, both are used frequently, thanks to the unclear English transliteration of a [...]

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Toe the line

2023-08-20T00:04:19+00:00October 19th, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

This idiom, or a word or phrase that can't be understood outside its cultural context, frequently trips people up. See what we did there?  The commonly used phrase comes from track and field, where athletes are required to put their foot behind the starting line and wait for the start signal, with their toe just [...]

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Understanding Key Terms: Native American, American Indian and Indigenous

2023-10-22T05:24:13+00:00September 19th, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

In October, we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and in November, we honor Native American Heritage Month. So it’s a good time to brush up on certain terms, as it’s important to understand key distinctions and definitions.  To help give you an overview, we’ve pulled some key points from the Association Press. But we encourage you [...]

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How to Determine Adjective Order

2023-06-25T04:13:02+00:00August 25th, 2023|Proofreading Tips, Uncategorized|

You likely order your adjectives without thinking about it. It feels natural to say "a big, Irish wolfhound." You wouldn't say an "Irish big wolfhound." That's because if English is your first language, you naturally adopted, and were taught, an order of adjectives. Here it is, with some examples of adjectives to go with it:  [...]

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When to Use Semicolons

2023-08-18T23:18:29+00:00July 25th, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

Love them or hate them (our proofreaders love them!!!), the semicolon is a tool in your grammar arsenal. This punctuation — ; — can be used to join two independent clauses together without using a conjunction such as "and." You do not use a capital letter after a semicolon unless it's a proper noun. They [...]

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Jell vs. gel

2023-07-12T07:51:43+00:00June 25th, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

Jell-O is a gelatin dessert. Put that on your proofreading plate and eat it. Sometimes the English language is full of grammar surprises, like this homophone: jell/gel. Jell Jell is only a verb.  It can mean to set or become more solid, as in a liquid or semiliquid substance. "Watching the Jell-O jell felt like [...]

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Me, myself and I

2023-05-01T16:53:38+00:00May 22nd, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

Choosing the right first-person pronoun sometimes can be confusing. But there’s an easy test to self-check your grammar. Incorrect: When she’s done writing the first draft, she’ll send it to you or I. If you take out the second-person pronoun — “you” — this wouldn’t make sense: “She’ll send it to I.”  Correct: When she’s [...]

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Given free rein (it’s not reign!)

2023-05-01T16:48:31+00:00May 1st, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

We’ve all used and/or heard the expressions “free rein,” “rein it in,” and “take the reins.” All of them use the word “rein,” which can be a noun or a verb. Reins are the straps attached to a horse or other animal’s headgear. A rider uses reins to control and steer the animal. But these [...]

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Pique, Peak or Peek?

2023-02-19T21:55:08+00:00March 23rd, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

Although they have identical pronunciation, "peak," "peek" and "pique" mean different things:  Peek is related to sight. As a noun, it means a brief or furtive look. As a verb, it means to take a look at something or look through something small. Example: She peeked around the corner. Peak is a noun or verb [...]

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Tips for Writing about People with Disabilities

2023-02-19T21:45:15+00:00February 19th, 2023|Proofreading Tips|

The terms “disabilities” and “disabled” span a broad range of physical, psychological, developmental and intellectual conditions. Some of these conditions are visible; others we cannot see. It’s important to remember that disabled individuals use diverse terms to describe themselves. Many, for example, use the term “people with disabilities.”  According to the Associated Press, both “people [...]

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