Blog Action Day: The Global Human Right of Education for Girls

We are pleased to announce that Writing it Right for You is taking part on this year’s “Blog Action Day”. Blog Action Day is the one day of the year where thousands of bloggers from all over the world work together to focus on one important global topic, and help raise awareness and money for charities...

Etymology: Camouflage

etymology: the study of word origins Use of the word camouflage originated in Paris in the late 19th century. It is a combination of the Italian word camuffare, which means “to disguise”, and the French word camouflet, which means “a puff of smoke”. Back in ol’ Par-ee in the 1870s, thieves would put an attractive woman in a...

With the Ancestors: R.I.P. Acclaimed Nigerian Author Chinua Achebe (1930 – 2013)

“I tell my students, it’s not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What’s more difficult is to identify with someone you don’t see, who’s very far away, who’s a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is...

Etymology: monologue or soliloquy?

Etymology: the study of word origins.   monologue is of Greek origin and soliloquy is of Latin origin, both words are defined as “single speech”. Today, a monologue is considered to be a speech given by one person in the company of others, while a soliloquy is given by a person who forgets or doesn’t realize that others are...

Etymology: “awkward”

Etymology means “the study of word origins”. “Awk” is an obsolete word meaning “turning the wrong way”. “Awkward” originally meant “in an awk direction”, just like forward means in a front (fore) direction and backward means in a back direction. If the professionals at Writing It Right For You can help you to navigate awkward...

12 REALLY Bad Analogies Written by High School Students

In my previous career, I taught English and Language to all grades from pre-school through college, including high school. This list made me laugh so hard, because I am seen so many examples like these. The expert writers and editors at Writing It Right For You can help you to avoid funny but embarrassing analogies,...

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...

Why Companies Need PROFESSIONAL Copy Editors

I personally have never heard of this magazine, but this cover is a perfect example of why companies need to hire highly professional, highly educated, and highly experienced copy editors. How did such a glaring and obvious error get published! Can you find the error(s) here? “It Matters How You Say It!” The highly professional,...

Dictionary, Lexicon, or Glossary? Which is Which?

Almost everyone has used a dictionary at some time or another: A dictionary is a reference book that contains the pronunciations, meanings, part of speech, history, and correct spellings of most of the words of a language. A glossary is a specialized vocabulary list, and usually does not contain any other information except for the definitions of...

Empathy or Sympathy?

Empathy and sympathy are similar, but not the same. When to use which word depends on the context. *empathy* means the ability to better understand a person’s or point of view because you yourself have experienced something similar. *sympathy* means feeling compassion for another’s person’s feelings or point of view although you have probably not...

Today’s Question: What is the difference between cement and concrete?

“Cement” is any chemical binding agent that makes things stick to it or stick to each other. Glue, mortar, and paste are examples of cement. “Concrete” is a construction material consisting of cement, water, and crushed granules such as sand, gravel, or stone.  The root of cement is the Latin caenentum meaning quarry stone. The writers...

Hyphens

I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten points knocked off of a paper’s score because of hyphen misuse.  Here are a few golden rules: If you aren’t sure a compound noun is two words, look it up!  The dictionary is one of the best friends you could ever have.  If your new best friend...

segway/segue

“Segue” is one of my favorite words, because it is fun to say. It is pronounced like “segway”, but has an entirely different meaning. To “segue” (v) is to move seamlessly from one activity to another. A “segue” (n) is a smooth transition from one thing or activity to another. “Segway” is the brand name...

What We Do: Dissertations

This is IT.  Senior year at your college/university is coming to a close.  You’ve “busted your hump” getting in all of your work, getting financial clearance for graduation, all ducks are in a row.   The last thing on your list, the dissertation has to be completed.  You’ve already done your research, it’s solid, and...

Different from/Different than

Is there a difference (pun totally intended)?  Yes.  First, as always, let’s look into the explanation.  ‘Different’ is a word used to contrast, rather than (tee hee) compare.  ‘Than’ usually follows adjectives used to compare people, items, conditions, etc. Examples: More than, less than, better than, worse than, colder than and many more. CORRECT: The birthday party was...