A Grammar Horror Story

On days like this, kids in costumes aren’t the only spooky things in the neighborhood. Did you know commas can save innocent lives? I wanted to avoid controversial subjects like killing in this column, but here we are discussing the only two certainties in life: death and punctuation.

Your Age is Showing

I recently celebrated a birthday. Okay, maybe “celebrated” isn’t quite accurate. Let’s say I recently endured another birthday. And, as much as I openly dislike birthday attention, this got me thinking: how do I properly write about my age?

Make it a Blockbuster Night

Sometimes I get tripped up by words so similar, they might as well be the same word. It’s like the movies The Illusionist and The Prestige. Both came out in 2006. Both are about magicians. They should have only made of them. This is how I also feel about the words “affect” and “effect.”

Dreamers Often Lie

Sure, it’s easy to distinguish lace from lice and lake from like, but what’s the difference between lay and lie? When I say “lie” in this article, I’m not referring to the act that causes Pinocchio's nose to grow; I’m talking about when someone reclines.

Battle of the Latin Abbreviations

You probably weren’t surprised to learn I was an English major for one semester in college. This week, I’m leveling up the nerd factor and divulging another academic secret of mine: I took three years of Latin in high school. And, for a dead language, Latin is everywhere. Ever heard of an astronaut?

I’ll have the crow (for a limited time only)

“In your recent article ‘Who do you think you are?’ you state, ‘Additionally, authors like Shakespeare, Chaucer, and books like the King James Bible often utilized that to refer to a person.’ Because you were referring to specific people and a specific book, shouldn't you have used the words ‘such as’ instead of ‘like’ in your sentence?” -Becky, Carmel

The I’s Have It

Stop! Grammar time.

If you watch The Bachelor (which I most definitely do not), you probably hear the following phrase ad nauseam during the “confessional” videos: “Topher and I’s relationship is really special. I think he may be the one.” Then the next girl comes in and says literally the exact same thing. 

Down the Rabbit Hole

“A quandary I would love to see you address in a future column is the proper usage of ‘further’ vs. ‘farther’, and if there are any helpful tricks for remembering which to use when.”            -Taina, Zionsville

Write Like You've Got Competition

A couple of months ago, I applied for a writing gig on Upwork. I didn’t get the job, which isn’t unusual. For every ten proposals I send, I get maybe three or four jobs. But, shortly after I found out I wasn’t picked, I got a message from the posting client, who informed me I was his “second pick”…

The Spirit of Adventure

Last year, we bought the house from Up.

Not the actual house in which retired balloon salesman Carl Frederickson flies to Paradise Falls with the help of a young Wilderness Explorer and a chimney-full of helium-filled balloons, but one that looks a heck of a lot like it.