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Comma Sense

Many usage guides provide guidance on when to use commas and when to omit them. Some commas are needed to prevent misreading, some are harmful, and others are optional.

Don’t Bury the Lede

If you habitually bury the lede in your sentences, you may eventually test the patience of your readers . . .

Adverbs to Avoid

I’m not going to tell you to cut adverbs out of your prose entirely. Instead, I’m going to review a particular category of adverbs that you can easily avoid and thereby tighten your prose . . .

URLs: Some Practical Advice

The new MLA Handbook recommends including URLs in works-cited-list entries for online works, but it also notes their drawbacks . . .

The Danger of Deploy

Deploy is not a good synonym for use, utilize, or employ, because it has a narrower sense and specific associations . . .

It is . . . that; or, How Not to Edit Jane Austen

The formula it is . . . that is one of the most common rhetorical tics in academic writing. This formula also provides a great opportunity to edit for concision, since it can usually be removed easily from a sentence without changing the meaning . . .

President’s Day: A Singular Holiday?

When it comes to styling the holiday variously known as President’s Day, Presidents’ Day, and Presidents Day, authorities disagree not only about what to call the holiday but also about what the holiday celebrates.

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