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Archive for January 2012

Lie-Lay

By Judy Vorfeld Have you ever seen peo­ple get into a heated argu­ment over the right use of the words “lay” and “lie”? It hap­pens. LAY is a verb mean­ing “to put” or “to place,” and needs an object to com­plete its mean­ing. (Lay, laid, lay­ing.) Examples She lay […]

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Is it its’, it’s, or its?

By Judy Vorfeld Have you ever been con­fused about when to use an apos­tro­phe with pos­ses­sives? And where the apos­tro­phe goes? Unfortunately, not all pos­ses­sives use apos­tro­phes. This includes the per­sonal pro­nouns “its,” “theirs,” and “yours.” Since they are the most fre­quently mis­un­der­stood, let’s tackle them. The wonderful […]

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Imply-Infer

By Judy Vorfeld IMPLY Imply means that some­one wants to make some­thing under­stood with­out express­ing it directly. It is safe to say that this tech­nique is used often by politi­cians. Synonyms: hint, sug­gest, insin­u­ate, point toward. INFER Infer means that the hearer per­ceives or con­cludes some­thing (today […]

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Assure-Ensure-Insure

By Judy Vorfeld Have you ever writ­ten, “We will do every­thing in our power to insure that your ship­ment arrives before Friday”? Was this cor­rect? It’s not incor­rect, but there’s a bet­ter way to use it. There are three words that con­fuse peo­ple: insure, ensure, and assure. INSURE means […]

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Have-Ought

By Judy Vorfeld When do I use “have” and when do I use “ought”? Let’s start with “ought.” * Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary says: “– used to express oblig­a­tion , advis­abil­ity , nat­ural expec­ta­tion , or log­i­cal con­se­quence .” Ought expresses oblig­a­tion, advis­abil­ity (giv­ing advice), expec­ta­tion, or con­se­quence. It’s a word […]

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