Tag Archive for: grammar

Toilets: Fun with Words Week 4

I play a game on social media with my extended family members called, “Where is Mandi this week?” I post a photo, and my family competes to see who can guess it first. Read more

Is It Home In or Hone In? Fun with Words Week 2

This photo is of one of the walls in the conference center at the #AloftSeattleRedmond. I was honored to facilitate a three-day Advanced Communications Program for a cohort of emerging leaders for one of my clients, and we all got a kick out of the creative artwork throughout the meeting area. But, can you tell what the wall is composed of? Look closely.

 

 

In fact, we’ll use this photo to introduce our #GrammarforGrownups question this week. Which word is correct?

If you [home in, hone in] on this photo, you can tell the entire wall is composed of old keyboard keys.

Scroll for the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

Answer: home in

If you home in on this photo, you can tell the entire wall is composed of old keyboard keys. 

I have always said hone in similar situations.

 

I have always been wrong.

 

To home in means to get closer to something such as an object or a goal or the truth. Picture a homing pigeon (why haven’t I realized that before).

To hone means to sharpen something—and you don’t hone in on anything.

My son honed his test-taking skills in preparation for the ACT.

And, I’m certainly honing my vocabulary this month.

 

Can you think of other examples of words you have been using incorrectly without realizing it?

 

 

To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

You might also like:

Prefer Performance to Chronology in Your Résumé

It’s Interview Time: What’s the One Detail Most Interviewees Forget?

Wacky Word of the Week: Purge this Particular Word

How to Pluralize Last Names for Christmas Cards

As we finish addressing our cards and stamping the envelopes, let’s wrap up our discussion of how to pluralize last names with tricky, sticky spellings. Read more

How to Pluralize Family Names with Tricky Spellings

This week we’re polishing off the last of the turkey sandwiches, hanging lights, taking our decorations out of the attic—and addressing our cards. Let’s continue our discussion of how to pluralize our family names with tricky spellings. Read more

What If My Name Already Ends With An “S”?

This is a popular topic this time of year, so thank you to everyone who wrote in asking some version of this question: How do I make my family’s last name plural on greeting cards? Read more

Confident Christmas Cards: Answers to Apostrophe Pop Quiz

Last Wednesday we asked a series of pluralization questions regarding apostrophes and last names so we can sign off on our Christmas cards with confidence.

Read more

How Do I Make My Family’s Last Name Plural on Greeting Cards?

Quick question: With which names should you use the apostrophe? Choose the correct version. Read more

Grammar Grappler #32: We Completely Eliminated the Problem

This is another example of language we can send to the Redundancy Department of Redundancy. Yet, we do hear people say:

“We completely eliminated the problem.” Read more

Grammar Grappler #28: Very Unique?

“Halleigh, the spelling of your name is very unique.”

“She had a very unique way of expressing frustration.”

“The author took a most unique approach to revealing the murderer at the end of the mystery novel.”

Very unique?

Most unique?

Very unique is another phrase we should send to the Redundancy Department of Redundancy. Why? Unique actually means “unlike anything else.” It’s unique. Period. It is unnecessary to modify it with words like very and most. According to its definition, you can’t have varying degrees of uniqueness. Something can’t be a little unique or a lot unique or very unique. It’s unique—just like a rainbow unicorn.

 

To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

You might also like:

How Do You Handle Virtual Meeting Whiners?

Use this App to Capture Fresh Presentation Ideas

Wacky Word of the Week: Purge this Particular Word

Photo by mark glancy from Pexels

Grammar Grappler #26: Is it “free rein” or “free reign”?

A fellow Amory Panther brought this confusing word pair to my attention through Facebook. Let’s see how well you choose the correct word in this sentence: Read more