January Blog 2018

Misused words/phrases:

There are many times when I am reading (enjoyment and work) that the author has misused a word/phrase. Sometimes it might be so close to correct, that they do not realize it as they reread their work, other times … OMGOSH!!

This month I am listing some of these crazy misunderstood words and phrases. (credit goes to Grammar Check)

  • Sneak peek – means to take an early look at something. It is often mistaken as ‘sneak peak’ – meaning a sly, crafty mountain.
  • By and large – used when discussing a subject in a general sense. Mistaken as ‘by in large’ – this is not an accurate saying.
  • Lie/Lay – often misused for the other. Lie means to rest on a surface while lay means to put something in place.
  • Literally – often misused to express intensity when in fact, it is a word that implies something is completely true. Don’t use literally unless something is true.
  • Supposed – this is often misused as ‘suppose to’ which is incorrect because it lacks the letter ‘d.’
  • Should of – is not proper. Use ‘should have.’
  • Toward, Afterward, Anyway – none of these words should end in ‘s.’
  • Beck and call – means being made available, often mistaken as ‘beckon call.’
  • Fewer/Less – ‘fewer’ is used for things you can count while ‘less’ is used for things you can’t count.
  • Farther/Further – ‘farther’ refers to physical distance. ‘Further’ means advancement.
  • i.e./e.g./ex – i.e. is the abbreviation for the Latin term ‘id est’ which means ‘in other words’. This abbreviation is used to explain something further. If you want to abbreviate something or enumerate example, you should use e.g. It is wrong to use ex.

I am so glad that in my research I came across the i.e/e.g./ex information. When I am writing something and I want to use examples I always abbreviate with ex. Not anymore, I will use e.g.

I hope this list of misunderstood words/phrases comes in handy for you when you are writing. I will add more in a few months in another blog.

Join us in February when we talk about more words that sound similar and are used incorrectly.

Until then … Stay warm!


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December Blog 2017:

When to start a new paragraph:

This is a difficult question for many writers and can be a little confusing for editors as well.

What is a paragraph? - A collection of related sentences on one topic.

A paragraph should be about 3-4 sentences in length. Many times I find myself suggesting for the client to delete sentence after sentence of repetitive writing. The paragraph starts out as 6 sentences and once they delete the repetitive parts, it is now down to 4. They may have to change some wording throughout the remaining sentences, but at least it does not drag on and on.

Here are a few suggestions for when to change to a new paragraph:

  • You start in on a new topic or a new character comes along
  • You skip to a new time or event
  • When a new person is talking
  • When you want to create a dramatic effect

By following these steps, you will help the reader to enjoy your masterpiece, even more.

Join us in January when we discuss, “Misunderstood words and phrases.”

Have a safe holiday season.


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November Blog 2017:

Hello friends. This month we have another guest blog to share with you. Traci Fine is one of the most inspirational people I have had the pleasure of meeting. As you read her story, you will see a glimpse into the battles she has went through and what helped her to win. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed listening to her and having her as a very close friend.

Traci’s story:

I am a mom of kids. Jason, 46 is my husband, our oldest son Cameron is 30 and married to Heather. He owns his own home, his own car, works two jobs plus Ubers part-time and is the most wonderfully gregarious man I have ever met. Our youngest is Dylan; he is 20. Dylan works two jobs, rents a room from his brother and sister-in-law and is very focused, driven and is an award-winning costume designer and creator. Our fur babies are Daisy, a 13-year-old beagle and Dane, a 7-year-old boxer. They both keep us entertained and loving life everyday. I am a hard core Harley rider; my husband is not. I love blasting music and singing loudly; my husband does not. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal; my husband is a planner. What we have REALLY works.

I was raised in an amazing, loving home by hard working parents who still believe your word and handshake is the way to do business, make friends and shut down your enemies. To live a life fulfilled with hard work and giving to others while keeping it positive all the time was instilled at a very early age. My earliest memory of my spirit was when I was four. I told my mom I wanted to be a princess and help people. She retorted back that I would grow up to have, be and inspire many people. I just needed to make up my mind and put some action behind it. Forty some years later, I look back and I truly believe that those few simple words from my mother was where it all began.

In February of 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage Four, diffused, large B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The words would test everything I was, am or care to be as a human. I was blessed with getting cancer. BLESSED! Some say I am insane for seeing it that way. A large part of the reason I killed cancer is because of my outlook, which was accompanied by drastic lifestyle changes, amazing medicine and divine intervention.

In the process of my cancer treatment, we saw a huge need to help those who have nothing and no one during their treatments. Traci’s Angels was birthed in the midst of my brutal cancer treatments as a way to give back. It has provided me the opportunity to not feel sorry for myself and to give in a way that I would never expect repayment. IT IS MY PURPOSE, MY PASSION.

I started writing in Jr. High and always knew I would write to INSPIRE others. It’s my sole purpose for being on Earth!! In 2018 I will be releasing my first self-published book, “Losing is not an Option.” It is a full, on account portrayal of kicking cancer’s ass and how I was able to affect my outcome along with traditional medicine and holistic modalities combined. It will also outline how Traci’s Angels Go Bags came to fruition.

I have many projects that I am moving through the creative process; “Losing is not an Option” will be the first in a series of inspirational and motivational life-inspired books.

I cannot wait to share them with you in the upcoming year!!

Traci Fine

Thank you Traci for sharing your story with us. Like I said at the beginning, you are such an inspiration. I have wanted to help “a cause” for many years and have been unable to find one I was comfortable with. You have helped me to find that “cause” and I am grateful as well as excited to help Traci’s Angels.

Join us in December when we talk about how to know when to start a new paragraph.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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October Blog 2017

Another Session on Words that mess with our Brains:

In September, I started a list of words that have similar sounds, but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

To follow is my second list of words for you to ponder over:

Accept vs Except

  • Accept means to “receive willingly”
  • Except means “apart from” or “excluding.”
  • TIP: Use except if excluding something or someone. Both start with the letter e.

Affect vs Effect

  • Affect is a verb meaning “to influence” or “to change”
  • Effect is a noun meaning “a result”
  • TIP: If you can insert the in front of effect, then that is the correct choice between the two.

Capital vs Capitol

  • Capital refers to a city or wealth. Use an uppercase letter
  • Capitol refers to a building (state capitol building)
  • TIP: Remember the O-shaped rotunda and that is when you use capitol.

Lay vs Lie

  • Lay requires an object. Ex: Lay down your book. (book is the object)
  • Lie requires taking an action. Ex: Lie down on the sofa. (lie is the action)
  • TIP: When confused, try to remember the sentence “Hens lie down and lay eggs.”

To set an object down                      Definition                   To rest or recline

            Lay                                          Present Tense                       Lie

            Laid                                         Past Tense                             Lay

            Laying                                     Present Participle                 Lying

            Laid                                         Past Participle                       Lain

I think the hardest one in this list is “Lay vs Lie.” In the stories that I have edited, that has to be the craziest error, which keeps me thinking and on my toes.

Once again, most of the credit goes to Grammar Girl – The Ultimate Writing Guide for Students. I have found this to be the best reference book I own for explaining the difference between similar words. Thank you, Grammar Girl. ;-)

Join us in November as we welcome Traci Fine to our Guest Blog. I have known Traci for a couple years and always look forward to reading her inspirational Facebook posts and discussing her plans for the future.

As always, thanks for reading our blog and sharing your thoughts.


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