Tag Archives: Grammar

Word Nerd: How the passive voice can ruin your college application

11 Sep

It is well known that the passive voice should be avoided. The question is, who does the well-knowing and the avoiding? The answer, of course, is you and me. But it’s not always that obvious. When to use the passive voice First, without getting bogged down in a yawn-inducing grammar lesson, let’s look at what […]

Word Nerd: How many of these world-famous fake languages do you know?

24 Jul

Many of us have, at some point in our childhood, conversed in a language that is fake, or perhaps made up a “secret” code with our friends. Here are a few fake languages that people around the world share, thanks to pop culture, books, and movies. Pig Latin: This is a “secret” language kids sometimes […]

Word Nerd: How to Weaken Your Writing

1 Aug

Think of good, vigorous writing in human terms. It’s athletic: wakes up at daybreak, jogs 5 miles, then goes for a game of tennis. And it still looks like it just stepped out of the shower. In other words, good writing is fresh, confident and precise. Now, let’s think about mediocre or weak writing. It […]

Word Nerd: 5 Common English Mistakes That We Love to Hate

2 May

Last Monday, we argued about how language rules aren’t just for fools. This week we are going to look at 5 mistakes which are common and contrary to rules of good English usage. Language rules work like traffic rules – a combination of widespread practice and good sense. But common as these 5 errors might […]