When to capitalize “the” in publication and organization names

Here's a question I get a lot: Should I capitalize "the" in publication and organization names? And here's my answer: It depends on the official name of the publication or organization. In general, capitalize "The" if the publication or organization does in its official name. (If the name does not start with "the," add a … Continue reading When to capitalize “the” in publication and organization names

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What’s the difference between “farther” and “further”?

Do you know the difference between farther and further? These words are sometimes used interchangeably in spoken conversation, and some dictionaries acknowledge some overlapping of the two. But the Associated Press Stylebook and other style guides draw a distinction: Farther refers to physical or spatial distances. The sun is farther from Earth than the moon is. I ran … Continue reading What’s the difference between “farther” and “further”?

Can you start a sentence with “but” or “and”?

Through the piercing screech of chalk on the blackboard, you discern a command: "Never start a sentence with 'and' or 'but,'" your school teacher stated. Forget this "rule." It's perfectly fine to begin a sentence with a conjunction, such as or, but, and or so. Most experts think the made-up rule stemmed from an oversimplification; … Continue reading Can you start a sentence with “but” or “and”?

Avoid redundancy

In past tips, I've highlighted the importance of avoiding wordiness. Clear, concise writing conveys your message quickly and directly, and helps us keep readers' attention. One way to do this is to avoid redundancy. We can eliminate adjectives and prepositions that some words' meanings already include. For example, the phrase "tall skyscraper" is redundant because … Continue reading Avoid redundancy