Commonly misused terms for the careful writer


The Elements of StyleBy Nina Munteanu

When I first started writing stories—many more years ago than I care to admit—I knew that I was a poor speller, had generally bad syntax, and often misused grammar. Someone, who believed in my capacity to tell a good story despite my shortcomings in delivery, handed me a slim copy of William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White’s classic guide The Elements of Style. This elegant 105-page book includes elementary rules of usage, elementary principles of composition, a few matters of form, commonly misused words and expressions, and an approach to style.

It is “still a little book, small enough and important enough to carry in your pocket, as I carry mine,” said author and journalist Charles Osgood. And it has helped me out of a few messes. Let’s look at some examples of commonly misused words and expressions. These words and expressions, Strunk and White…

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