Grammar: Ellipses… How to Torture a Writer with Three Tiny Dots

Ellipses are such handy little guys, but sadly very misunderstood. Some common issues I see: Question: What’s the difference between an ellipsis and ellipses?Answer: This is the easy one–ellipses is plural, ellipsis is singular. 🙂 😆 Q: How the heck do you make an ellipsis, anyway?A: The correct answer (see below, and it’s important) is that it’s three dots, evenly […]

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Writing Tips for Authors: Using Ellipses to Punctuate Phone Convos

One of the struggles authors have is presenting dialogue so that it’s both understandable and engaging. Phone conversations can be especially problematic. Scenes where you show both sides of the conversation are fairly easy—you just handle them like regular dialogue for the most part. But what about one-sided or overheard exchanges? A convention I really like is to use […]

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Grammar: Is Air-Conditioning Hyphenated, Unhyphenated, or Open?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary:  Air-conditioning, when used as a noun, is hyphenated. The house has air-conditioning. Air conditioner, a noun, is open. The air conditioner is on the fritz. Air-conditioned: Both as an adjective and a verb is hyphenated. The air-conditioned room. Air-condition a building. The above article is an update. Back when I originally wrote this article (June 14, 2013), […]

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Grammar: Thank You. No, Thank You!

Should you write thank-you (hyphenated) or thank you (open)? Well, that depends on your meaning. There are actually two ways to write thank you. No, seriously. I promise. Thank you, when used as a phrase, is two words. By phrase, I mean a spoken or written expression of gratitude. For example: “Thank you so much […]

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