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Grammar/Usage

What exactly is a preface? How long should it be? My editor has asked me to write one for my first book of non-fiction—a collection of essays, coming out in a few months—and I’m too embarrassed to admit my ignorance. Is it like an introduction? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Which is right: “Science is yet to find out why” (as it is worded in a reputable political/business magazine), or “Science has yet to find out why” (as I think it should be worded)? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Does "three year old" have hyphens in it, or not? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

What is the past tense of hang, in the sense of a person being hung (or hanged)? It would be grand if we never had occasion to use the term again, but meanwhile... Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Which is correct: “painted with the same brush,” “tainted with the same brush” or “tarnished with the same brush”? Read more

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What is the difference between "in" and "among"? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Why do we have two words, almost identical, that mean “easily set on fire”? I’m talking about flammable and inflammable. Even dictionary writers seem embarrassed about this weird situation. Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Now that the lack of a serial comma in a state law has famously caused an appeals court in Maine, USA, to rule against a large company—potentially leading to a multimillion-dollar large settlement—do you stand by your policy of omitting that comma? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

The question [Which is correct: “Ted asked me to come over” or “Ted asked me to go over”? February 1, 2017] isn’t just about direction of movement, it’s about indirect dialogue. Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

What is the plural of McDonald’s? Everything I try looks wrong, and online search results are far from unanimous. Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Please settle my bet with a friend. Which is correct: “Ted asked me to come over” or “Ted asked me to go over”? There’s ten bucks riding on your answer. Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Why has the perfectly good noun "gift" been twisted into use as a verb, replacing the perfectly good verb "give"? Read more

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Which is correct: “replaced by” or “replaced with”? Read more

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Doesn’t the word "oversight," which has two opposite meanings, cause misunderstandings? Read more

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Are the words fictional and fictitious interchangeable? If so, why do we need both? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

Is it flak or flack? I looked it up in two dictionaries and they disagree. Why? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

When there’s more than one adjective before a noun, does it matter what order they’re in? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

How do you punctuate “dos and donts”? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

What’s wrong with writing “Sahara Desert”? Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

I am a grade nine, philosophizing logophile trapped in a frustrating predicament. My problem is that I take too much time writing my English assignments. Read more

Advice for the Lit-Lorn

ADVICE FOR THE LIT-LORN
WRITING QUESTIONS, QUANDARIES & PICKLES

 
Yes or no: Do writers have to be proficient in spelling
and grammar to be any good?
  
Bad Speller, London ON 

Read the answer from Geist Editors!

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