Word Pairs Is an E-Book

Over 2,000 word pairs with parts of speech, definitions, usage examples, and idioms – now just a click of the mouse away. Buy the word pairs book at margieholdscourt.com, and run it on any and all of your devices. Have it running in the background as you are editing so that you can quickly confirm whether it is “…has to …

More on Hyphens

Remember that hyphenating words in front of a noun is done to indicate those words form a unit. …long-range plans… …old-fashioned ideas… …five-month-old baby… When the words are already considered to be a unit, no hyphen is required. This occurs with multiple-word compound nouns. …real estate transaction… …social security payments… …high school diploma… One trick for hyphens is to test whether the …

The Word “That” — Omitted

We have to be aware when the word “that” is omitted — which usually makes something a dependent clause, needing no comma, rather than an independent clause, which would need a comma. …Suppose [that] a patient arrives on an afternoon and [that] you’ve been in there in the morning. No comma before “and” because the “that” is understood, beginning a …

To Cap or Not to Cap “Social Security”

Generally speaking, unless you add the word “administration,” “social security” does not need to be capped. …He is not old enough for social security. …I will use my social security for that. A reporter just presented this context, where I think it should be capped as it is talking about the entity. …Did you speak with Social Security about that …

The Dilemma of the Word “O’Clock”

There are three separate English rules on how time values should be expressed. These rules depend upon how the number is said: with “o’clock”             …I got there at — o’clock. with “A.M. or P.M.”     …I got there at — P.M. or by itself                  …I got there at —. …

“Yes” and “No”

When the attorney is using “yes” and “no” in a generic way — that is, s/he is not asking for those specific words but is looking for a positive or negative answer — they are not capped or quoted. …It is a yes-or-no question. …I will need a yes or no and not nods of the head. Happy punctuating! Margie   …

Punctuation Precision This Weekend

Just checking in with a final invitation to join us for a course in punctuation. It is a 20-hour course, divided into two-hour sessions and spread over the next several weeks. At just under $20 per CEU, it is the best deal in town! Recordings will be made of each session. If you have to miss a session, you may …

“Such As”

The phrase “such as” is punctuated according to the rules of essential/nonessential. …The sciences such as chemistry and physics are viewed to be… …Cars such as Ford and GM are beyond… ..He enjoys Pepsi products, such as Mug root beer, more than… Frankly, it is difficult for me to think of a good example where it does take a comma. …

onelook.com

A great reference — onelook.com is a dictionary website. It is most useful for the the FORM of a word. You already know the meaning of swap meet, but is it one word or two words or hyphenated? Put in the entry in each form and see how many dictionaries list it as one or two or hyphenated. For this …

Letter-for-Letter Spelling

When a person is spelling a name, there are several rules that apply: The spelling looks exactly as the name looks when simply typed. …My name is James Edwards, J-a-m-e-s E-d-w-a-r-d-s. Leave spaces where there are spaces in the name. …My name is Mark Van Meter, V-a-n M-e-t-e-r. If someone says “cap” or “capped,” there are two choices: …My name …