famous or infamous?

Question PersonMany people confuse these two terms. Of course you know that “famous” means well-known, celebrated, having a favorable reputation–one of the base words for famous is “fame”. But many people mistakenly assume that “infamous” means, even more famous; however, infamous is the opposite of famous. If someone is infamous, that person has a negative reputation or is known for bad deeds.

Being “famous” is positive; being “infamous” is negative. Please do not use “infamous” when referring to a person very well known for good reasons.

If you need assistance with using the correct terms for your writing projects, contact the pros at Writing It Right For You. We’ll be glad to help you become famous!

“.gif” is the Oxford University Press “US Word of the Year”

Every year, the Oxford University Press in England chooses a “Word of the Year” for English-speaking countries. In the U.S., “.gif” is the 2012 winner. “Super storm” and “super pac” were runners-up.

Read the complete article below…

Oxford University Highlights 2012 “Words Of The Year” (via redOrbit)

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online Every year the Oxford University Press attempts to take a snapshot in time of English-speaking culture by selecting the “words of the year.” For 2012, the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary have chosen ‘omnishambles’ as their word…

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Veterans Day and Memorial Day

The observations and celebrations of the two holidays set aside to honor veterans of the United States Armed Forces has evolved over the last two centuries. Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day seem similar, but have distinctly different purposes.

Veterans Day began as “Armistice Day” to commemorate the signing of the armistice treaty that officially ended World War I. It was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. In 1926, the U.S. Congress officially recognized the end of WWI with a resolution that November 11 would be designated as a legal holiday. The day was officially named “Armistice Day”in 1938–the day was still a recognition of the end of hostilities for World World I, “the war to end all wars”.  In 1952, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a decorated general and veteran of World War II, issued a proclamation declaring November 11 as “Veterans Day” to honor all veterans of all U.S. wars. Although Veterans Day was initially part of the 1968 Uniform Holiday Bill to make it one of four 3-day holidays, by 1978 it was declared that the holiday would be continue to be observed on November 11 no matter what day of the week.

Memorial Day was originally a remembrance for Civil War veterans and called “Decoration Day” because several women’s groups in the South decorated the graves of Confederate soldiers. There were separate celebrations for decorating the graves of Black soldiers in the South. In 1868, General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, first observed Decoration Day at Arlington National Cemetery; however, the South refused to celebrate with the North until after World War I. Originally celebrated on May 30, Memorial Day is now celebrated as a 3-day holiday on the last Monday in May, although there has been a bill pending in Congress since 1999 to restore the observation date of Memorial Day  to May 30.

Memorial Day is specifically designed to honor members of the Armed Services who died in service to our country, while Veterans Day is reserved for all honorably discharged veterans, whether their served during peacetime or war time, and whether or not they gave their lives in conflict.

Loser or looser


These two words are related to “lose” and “loose”, two words often mistakenly interchanged.

“Lose” is the opposite of “win”, so a “loser” is someone who has lost.

“Loose” is the opposite of “tight”, so “looser” means less tight.

“Loser” is a noun and refers to a person. He is a loser.

“Looser” is an adjective that describes the condition of something. I wish these pants were looser.

Please don’t use lose or loser when you mean loose or looser.


Who or Whom? (Updated)

Who or Whom?

No, this is not an owl impression.  These are two words so similar, they’ve sparked debate among the most esteemed of writers and educators. They are also very often misused by the general population.

Even though “whom” sounds very formal, there are specific rules for its use. Whom is a pronoun that refers to someone not directly in the conversation or statement.

It is also a pronoun used as the “object” of a sentence, that is, it is usually used with a directing preposition. “To whom does this belong?” “To whom it may concern:” “With whom did you speak the last time you were here?” Notice that when using “whom”, the person is usually unknown as well as not present.

“Who” can be used as the subject of a sentence or question: “Who are you?”  “Do you know who is coming tonight?”

“Who” can also be used as a function word to introduce a subject, “my father, who is a lawyer, never reacted badly to stress”. There is another version of who, that like whom, can be used when asking a question.  “Whoever broke the vase is in big trouble.”

“Who” should always be used in place of “that” when referring to people. “There are many people who enjoy family celebrations.” “There are many of us who are waiting for the movie to start.”

“That” is used for inanimate objects and non-persons. “These are the dogs that are available for adoption.”

Whom Fun Fact:  Did you know writers the world over for a long time (1870 to present day), thought that usage of the word whom would disappear as it’s mostly familiar in Shakespearean and, even older, a biblical turn of phrase.  However, this debate is still ongoing.

“It Matters How You Say It!”

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

Pole or Poll?

Question Person







The words “pole” and “poll” are often misspelled. People usually know what they mean to write, but are unsure of the correct spelling. Words that sound alike but are spelled differently are called “homophones”: ‘homo’ for ‘same’ and ‘phone’ for ‘sound’.


Telephone Pole



A “pole” is a long stick, or in the case of a telephone pole, a very long stick! 





Computer Man Poll




A “poll” is a survey or a ballot to decide an issue or collect information from a group of people.




What pairs of homophones still cause you confusion? Let us know in the comments, or contact the writing and editing professionals at Writing It Right For You for assistance.


Prospect, Lead, or Opportunity?

It's A Deal!


Many freelancers and small business owners don’t think of themselves as “salespeople”, but unless your company is big enough to have a dedicated sales team, you are the “sales team”. The old adage: “Nothing happens until something is sold” is still true today. Before you can close the deal and sign the contract, you have to move people from prospects, to leads, to opportunities.

Ed Gandia, the co-author of The Wealthy Freelancer, and founder of the International Freelancers’ Academy, encourages solo practitioners and freelancers to understand the difference between the levels of people who may one day (hopefully soon) buy your products or services:

  • prospect: a person you have identified as a target for your marketing efforts and activities. This is your largest group of people; you should pre-set your criteria for prospects so that you are not just scattering your marketing to the wind or anyone  who is breathing.
  • lead: a prospect who has indicated a certain level of interest in your products or services. These are people who have signed up for your e-newsletter, or “Liked” your Facebook Page, or joined your LinkedIn Group, given approval to be on your blog post distribution list, or otherwise expressed interest in keeping abreast of you and your company.
  • opportunity: a lead who is ready to give you a chance to present your services, to discuss up potential project, or submit a formal quote for your products and services.

It is important that you develop a system to keep up with your prospects, leads, and especially with your opportunities. Once “opportunities” award you the project (and signs the contract!), then and only then do they  become clients and now “it’s a deal”! Congratulations!

If you are a freelancer or VSB (very small business), how do you manage your sales opportunities? Let us know in the comments!