Beyond the Rhetoric

 
 
 

Archive for the ‘Freelance Writing’ Category

Grammar 101: Electric vs. Electronic

August 23rd, 2016

Why is it that we can ride around on electric bikes, but we play on an electronic drum set? Why can we shave with an electric razor, but we send messages through electronic mail? The difference between the two terms may sound rather inconsequential. It might feel rather arbitrary, but there is a clear distinction […]

Idiomatica: Runs Like Stink

August 19th, 2016

In the first ever edition of Idiomatica last month, we looked at the phrase “pardon my French” and how it came to be. No one ever said the English language made a lot of sense. Idioms like that demonstrate just how far modern usage has strayed from the more literal understanding. Perhaps another good example […]

Idiomatica: Pardon My French

July 29th, 2016

English is filled with all sorts of strange idioms. Some of them make sense. A lot of them don’t. We can’t believe that golden retrievers and orange tabbies are literally falling from the sky when we say it’s raining cats and dogs. Some idioms, on the other hand, may trace their origins to a more […]

Grammar 101: Critique and Criticism

July 19th, 2016

On the surface, the words “critique” and “criticism” sound like they are fundamentally the same. Someone is offering his or her opinion on something. That something could be a painting, a movie, a smartphone, a social event… just about anything. The person has evaluated this thing and he or she has something to say about […]

Grammar 101: Maybe vs. May Be

July 11th, 2016

Change one letter and you can completely alter the meaning of a word. We see this with “affect” and “effect.” And then you get more confusing situations like with “all right” and “alright,” but what if the only difference is the inclusion or omission of a space? Do you know when you should use “maybe” […]

Grammar 101: Another Comma Demonstration

June 24th, 2016

Punctuation is a funny business. Put a different mark at the end of a word or sentence and you can completely change its perceived meaning. Whereas “hello?” has an inherent questioning tone, “hello!” is much more forceful and “hello…” is more tentative. I’ve written before about the power of the comma. Yesterday, I inadvertently came […]

Grammar 101: Might as Well (Not Minus Well)

June 14th, 2016

In my experience, many of the mistakes that people make with spelling and grammar are caused by the great divide between spoken and written language. Many common phrases are spoken far more often than they are found in everyday print. That’s why people come to write about how to “make due” or that time they […]

Grammar 101: The Girl Is No One

May 30th, 2016

One goose, many geese. One moose, many meese? One mouse, many mice. One house, many hice? English doesn’t make much sense sometimes. You think you’ve got a grasp on a system or a pattern, only to be thrown for a loop with one of the many exceptions. A good example of this is when you […]