The Pronunciation of “gerrymandering”

A word much in the news of late is gerrymandering. The term refers to the manipulation of voting district maps to favor one political party over another. The word is a portmanteau as well as an eponym. It combines the name of Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814), who was governor of Massachusetts from 1810 to 1812, and salamander,…

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New Problem with “lay” and “lie”

After writing numerous posts on the correct use of the verbs lay and lie, I’m ready to concede that getting everyone to use them “correctly” is a losing battle. Even if English teachers are teaching the concept, students are not listening. So many people tell their dogs to “lay down” and describe bodies as “laying…

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Are Your Homonyms Showing?

Homonyms are the words that Spellcheck won’t catch for you, words like plane and plain and to, two, and too. Professional writers should get them right.

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