Behind the Style

A Problem with Problematize

Though some writers still consider it jargon, the word problematize has gained general acceptance, at least in academic writing. But make sure to use it correctly . . .

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Sins of Omission

Writers sometimes ask their readers to understand too much. Here are a few common problems and how to remedy them.

Singular or Plural? Sometimes, It Depends

When each part of a plural subject possesses something individually, the thing possessed must generally be in the plural as well. But in several cases, the thing possessed should be in the singular.

Quotes When Nothing Is Being Quoted

Authors often use quotation marks when nothing is being quoted. The marks may indicate irony, skepticism, derision—as such, they are sometimes called scare quotes.

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