Knowing a Preposition from a Particle

In my morning paper, the headline “Just do it! Dangle a few prepositions” caught my eye. The article is about the common misconception that ending a sentence with a preposition is a major writing flaw in English. Because I have written on the same topic (“Go Ahead, Put that Preposition at the End”), I was…

Embers and Pleonasms

The NPR announcer who mentioned “still-hot embers” failed to understand the meaning of “embers.”

Epithet and Epitaph

There’s no excuse for anyone who graduated from high school and writes professionally to confuse the words “epitaph” and “epithet.” If at no other time, they would have learned the meaning of “epitaph” when they studied Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” in high school.