“All Things English”

“All Things English” — it’s here. Not a grammar book, not a punctuation book. Just a book that fills 20 minutes of your day with fun English stuff: one vocab word, one spelling word, one idiom, one word pair, and one fun fact. It is meant to improve your overall English skill. It’s a great gift. Do you have someone studying for the SAT or the GRE? Or is there someone who just wants/needs to improve English skills? This book is not court reporting specific. Buy it before the end of the year at the special introductory price of $20 at MargieHoldsCourt.com.


Cross-Examination Versus Direct Examination

Why the difference? Why a hyphen in one and not the other?

“Cross-examination” comes from the verb “to cross-examine,” which has a hyphen because “cross” is a prefix. Since noun forms are often derived from the verb form, “cross-examination” has a hyphen.

Since there is no such thing as “to direct examine,” there is no verb form to lead the way; thus  there is no hyphen in “direct examination.”

Happy punctuating!



Okay. So I should not write a blog during the insomniac hours of my life — 4:30 A.M. I just reread it: “…who is just needs a better grasp….” Yikes. Why are those errors so easy to spot now?

And I violated a very important proofreading rule for these things: write the blog; proofread it; save it as a draft; do something else for a while; proofread it again. It is a great way to catch those little errors.

Anyway, my website is margieholdscourt.com. The book will be available on November 11, and it is $20 (plus CA tax, if you live in the state, and shipping) between now and the end of the year.

Happy punctuating!


“All Things English,” My Book with a Different Approach

As I am sure many of you agree, the lack of English skills of people in general is appalling. Whether it is grammar, punctuation, word pairs, spelling, or just general knowledge of English, people are just not learning even the most basic of English skills. Little or nothing is being taught about the language. High school students, college students, those entering our field where English is of supreme importance — we are hard pressed to find people who see a problem with “Where’s it at?” or “for all intensive purposes” or “seperate from mine” or “less chairs.” The list is endless.

We are all busy. We probably are not going to take time to undertake an intensive study, though we may need it, of the language.

So my attempt to help remedy the situation is my new book — a different tack for me.

–one vocabulary word in a sentence that more or less defines it
–one spelling word that is spelled incorrectly
–one idiomatic expression to be looked up
–one word pair with sentences to illustrate the meaning
–one fun English fact, a variety of stuff from punctuation to grammar to random rules

There are 120 “days” of these combinations and a “workbook” page to use to reinforce the information. The idea is to look up these words and expressions, write down the definitions, write the spelling word as many times as it takes to learn it, fit the word pairs into sentences, define the idiom and how you would use it — all intended to be accomplished in 20 minutes or so a day. That would be 20 fun-filled, challenging, and interesting minutes each day.

Perfect for your high school student who is just needs a better grasp, your college student who is struggling with writing papers, your significant other who is looking for that promotion at work — for you, who absolutely love the language and would view this book as the most fun you have had this year!

The book is at the printer and will be ready to ship on November 11. Order at margiesholdscourt.com.

Happy punctuating!