The Fix-It Police: Symbols and Simplicity

In our Fix-it Police series, we've done a lot of work on things we've found that are concretely wrong. Misused commas and apostrophes, for example, are grammatical concepts with finite rules, but stylistic choices are decidedly more complex. This week, let's look at DQ's campaign for what they call a "$5 Buck Lunch." Here, we …

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The Fix-It Police: Apostrophes are your Best Friend

Apostrophes are notoriously one of the most commonly misused forms of punctuation. We have a myriad of posts on the topic (see here, here, and here!).  In fact, they're so widely misused that even The Tonight Show is not immune from their peskiness. Take a look at the opening clip from the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0_A6KtjgnI Steve Martin, before …

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#TBT: Using Strong Verbs for Résumés

Summer is fast approaching, and you know what that means -- fun days at the beach, a never ending supply of watermelon, and internship applications! Even if you're not planning on revising your résumé now, it's never a bad idea to give it a once over, especially if you're one of the lucky few who …

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Sprucing Up Your Personal Writing

We've all read stories that made us say, "wait, where have I seen this before?" Too often, we see reoccurring tropes and clichés that can tend to muddy up fiction, making some seem predictable. We don't want that, especially when you're committed to putting in the necessary time and effort into making your work as …

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The Fix-It Police: Grammar Changes are Coming!

Ah, public transit -- not the first thing that comes to mind when you think "grammar," but taking a quick gaze at your local transit memo can reveal some unsightly errors. Hark, for example, at this posting at the Winchester station in Campbell, CA: In case you didn't catch it, here's the glaring error: "To …

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#TBT: Combatting Writer’s Block

Ah, the dreaded writer's block. Though midterms may be over (or ending, hopefully!), the issues of not knowing where to start, what to write, or how to even counter that nagging urge to binge on Netflix instead of open a document are eternal. Even the strongest, most confident writers are not immune to this issue. …

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Check Yourself before you Grammarly Yourself

In our age of technology, it's about time for a mainstream grammar checker to enter our academic knowledge. Grammarly, an extension you can use to essentially "proofread" your paper, is one such player in this field. As tutors, our preference will always be for human interaction when it comes to grammatical concepts. Every document is …

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Grammar Elitism: To Correct or Not to Correct

If you're a stickler for grammar, chances are you've been frustrated by the various (and often pervasive) mistakes you'll see daily, especially on the internet. When scrolling through a slew of Facebook statuses, finding an error is as easy as finding a hungry seagull on the beach. The temptation to correct someone's error is often …

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The Fix-It Police: Hairspray Hullabaloo

Welcome to our new series, “The Fix-It Police”! How often do you see grammar mistakes in everyday life? Contrary to popular belief, just because something is printed or electronically published does not mean it’s exempt from grammatical flaws. In this series, we aim to identify issues we see day-to-day and politely correct them. Recently, I …

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Apostrophes’, Apostrophe’s, Apostropheses! (Your Holiday Grammar Explained)

Thanksgiving is over and we all know what that means: 'tis the season for writing holiday cards - and reviewing rules for proper apostrophe usage! Remember: Apostrophes are like garlic; some things taste awesome with garlic, but some things need to stay miles away from garlic. Unlike garlic, though, apostrophes can't just be sprinkled onto anything we …

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