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Daily Archives: August 9, 2019

3 Ways to Avoid Confusing Your Readers

Word choice, insertion or omission of punctuation, and syntax (arrangement of words and phrases) all affect comprehension. In each of the following sentences, one of these components of sentence construction is the source of ambiguity or confusion. Discussion of each example follows, along with a revision. 1. Our organization has …

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5 Funny Figures of Speech

Wordplay is a fertile field for study in English. Although the following forms of humor should be used sparingly if, at all, writers should be familiar with them and their possibilities. 1. MalapropismA malapropism, the substitution of a word with a similar-sounding but incongruous word, may be uttered accidentally or, …

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How to Pronounce Mobile

A reader wonders about the American pronunciation of the word mobile: When Americans refer to the thing that all of us carry around as our personal digital appendage, they rhyme it with “bill.” The rest of theworld (i.e., where I live) pronounce it to rhyme it with “bile.”I’m not talking about …

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