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By Judy Vorfeld EEK! The ori­gin of this inter­jec­tion prob­a­bly lies in car­toon world, when the hero­ine jumped up on a chair and shrieked, “Eek! A mouse!” These days it’s still an infor­mal, usu­ally humor­ous expres­sion of anx­i­ety. Think of it as a “lite,” high-pitched shriek. Example: Terri looked […]

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Bulleted Lists: Capitalization and Punctuation

By Judy Vorfeld Did you know that before the intro­duc­tion of word pro­cess­ing (via word proces­sors and com­put­ers), most pub­li­ca­tions dis­played lists in either out­line form or num­bered lists. Now we have bul­lets. This cre­ates a new layer of con­fu­sion on how to use cap­i­tal­iza­tion and punc­tu­a­tion in […]

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Awhile or A While?

By Judy Vorfeld A while ago, I decided to research the dif­fer­ences between “a while” and “awhile.” I like Professor Paul Brians’ com­ments: When “awhile” is spelled as a sin­gle word, it is an adverb mean­ing “for a time” (“stay awhile”); but when “while” is the object of a prepo­si­tional phrase, like […]

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By Judy Vorfeld Do you get con­fused over when to use “among” and when to use “between”? Let’s see if I can help with­out con­fus­ing you fur­ther! The Gregg Reference Manual, Ninth Edition, says that in gen­eral we use “between” when refer­ring to two per­sons or things, and […]

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Alot or A Lot or Allot?

By Judy Vorfeld Is there such a word as “alot”? Professor Paul Brians says that this com­mon spelling error may have begun began because there is an English a word spelled “allot” which is a verb mean­ing to appor­tion or grant. * Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary says: 1 : to assign as […]

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