In 1886, a lexicographer named Walter Skeat first used the phrase “ghost words” to describe words that he said had “no real existence.” In other words, ghost words are words that weren’t real to begin with—they made it into the dictionary because of an error or misunderstanding.
Tag Archives: Writing
3 Rules to Help You With Compound Possession
How do you show possession to more than one noun? For example, would you say, “Tom and Jerry’s TV show” and “Ryan and my anniversary”? This troublesome construction is called “compound possession” or “joint possession.” Read on for rules on how to use it correctly.
Learn English and Grammar Skills with Google Home Assistant
Would you like to learn English and improve your grammar without getting off the sofa and without cracking open a textbook? Google Home could be just what you need. Here are some of the English and grammar apps you can try out through Google Home.
A Literary Tour to the Spookiest Destinations on Earth
Whenever my friends and I plan a trip, we always search for something spooky to do—from ghost tours to haunted trails. And for connoisseurs of all things scary like us, Halloween is the best time of the year for creepy vacations, and we have gotten plenty of ideas from the horror genre. Now, we here at Off the Shelf have created a list of books that will give you plenty of ideas for your next spooky vacation, from pastoral New England to the jungles of Mexico and beyond.
An Electrifying Novel That Will Keep You Up Reading All Night
In Terry Hayes’s bestselling novel, a murder takes place in a grungy Lower East Side hotel, post-9/11. It’s a pretty gruesome murder that makes identifying a young, mutilated woman on a mattress impossible. The NYPD is called to the scene.
Voice: Improve Your Writing
Your writing will sparkle when you let your unique voice shine through. Find and develop your voice, so your readers get to know you.
Organization: Improve Your Writing
Every piece of writing needs to have a logical, consistent organizational pattern. Ideas flow when a piece of writing is well structured. Effective organization helps the reader understand your ideas.
Pro Tip: Transition Words and Phrases
Transition words and phrases make reading a story more natural and enjoyable. A story–also called a narrative–is a series of events that should flow together smoothly. In a narrative, most transitions are chronological, such as the ones in Feé’s story Part 1: When Feé was just about five months old When we got back FinallyContinue reading “Pro Tip: Transition Words and Phrases”
Improve Your Writing: Ideas
Good writers often divide their work into six components, usually called traits, a concept developed by teachers at Education Northwest. When writing, editing, or revising a piece, we assess its ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. This week, we will look at the idea trait and its importance to good writing. TheContinue reading “Improve Your Writing: Ideas”
If a sentence begins with the word “so,” should a comma follow it? Believe it or not, we grammar nerds have controversies, and this is one of them. Some experts say we should never begin a sentence with the word “so” in the first place, so the comma issue is moot. Other grammarians think thatContinue reading “Comma Controversies”