Tag Archives: journalism

Using parentheses, commas or dashes to set off an aside

Punctuation has a purpose. When you want to add information in the middle of a sentence that doesn’t quite fit the flow but is essential, the punctuation you employ to set it off signals different levels of emphasis for the reader. … Continue reading

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Word of the day – nausea, nauseous, nauseated

“Sex and death are two things that come but once in my lifetime, but at least after death you’re not nauseous.”— Woody Allen, Sleeper, 1973. Woody is a talented filmmaker and a funny fellow, but he’s wrong about nauseous. Playing … Continue reading

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Apostrophe now – What’s missing or what’s owned?

At a Phoenix Suns games some years ago, I found myself in front of a sign reading “Visitor’s locker room.” This is going to be a cake game, I thought. The Suns are playing against only one guy,  and that’s … Continue reading

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How to create a news release … and why

When I’m asked to write a PR release, my first question is: Why? In my decades as an editor, most of the PR releases that crossed by desk were merely passing through on the way to the trash can or … Continue reading

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Word of the day – Oral or verbal

These words often are used interchangeably to mean “spoken.” That’s generally not incorrect, but it’s also not precise — and often not really what is intended. Oral is the more precise word for that, as it refers to things of … Continue reading

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Word of the day – who and that

Who’s a who and what’s a that? Who that? A common word mix-up occurs in the “X (who) (that) did Y” construction. This should be an easy one: Who refers to people and that refers to things. The error generally is made … Continue reading

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Word of the day – Adverse and averse

Adverse and averse have some overlap in that they both refer to things you don’t like. Perhaps that leads to the confused use. Adverse is bad, harmful or against your position, as in adverse weather conditions. Averse is an intense … Continue reading

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