Easy one this week, folks. It’s the difference between the action of backing up, building up, and the results thereof.
A few examples:
When you hold back on how you feel about small offenses, they’ll eventually build up — and lead to a blow up.
When you don’t make a backup of your files, you risk losing all your work.
Commercials that mention plaque buildup gross me out.
Sometimes you have to back up to move forward.
Notice the difference? When using “back up” or “build up” as a verb, it’s two words. As a noun — “backup” or “buildup” — you put them together for one word.
Think of it this way: Verb equals two words; noun, down to one.
A colleague had seen “then” incorrectly used so many times when “than” should have been — in laudable publications, no less — he started to question which was right. ChanteSez to the rescue!
If you’re talking about time, it’s “then.” A few examples:
If I don’t do it now, then I’ll never get around to it.
Every now and then, I crave mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Think of it this way: Time means “when,” and when means “then.”
“Than” is about a comparison of some sort.
She refuses to date anyone who’s shorter than she is.
I’d rather be busy than bored.
Here’s your clue: Stay aware (with an “a”) when you compare.
Of course, the best way to avoid this typo, and so many others, is to do a good read before you post, print or pontificate.
I wish I’d made this: “Word Crimes” by Weird Al. That is all.
It’s summertime in Atlanta. In my neighborhood, as in many others within city limits, there’s often a spike in criminal acts to correspond with temperature hikes.
Did you know there’s actually a difference between a burglary and a robbery? And between a homicide and a murder?
- Burglary involves entering a building — not necessarily breaking in — with the intent to commit a crime. Robbery, on the other hand, includes using violence or force when trying to steal something.
- You rob a person or a house, but you steal the money and valuables on hand.
- Homicide is the legal term for a killing. Manslaughter is the act of killing, intent aside.
- Murder, however, is premeditated homicide committed with malicious intent. A person shouldn’t be called a murderer unless there has been a conviction processed through the legal system.
There you go: Crime defined according to Associated Press, and ChanteSez. I certainly hope you escape any and all criminal acts — this season and beyond!
I wish I could claim today’s ChanteSez, but alas, that credit belongs to Curtis Newbold, aka The Visual Communication Guy. For those of you who are more visually inclined, his handy chart lists 15 of the most common punctuation marks, and amusingly, how hard they should be to learn.
There’s the period at the low end, and the comma at the hard end.
Check it out below. Thank you to Piggie for the tip!
Will F. from @HighImpactMda suggested today’s ChanteSez grammar tip weeks ago — I appreciate his patience, and yours. Sometimes you see an apostrophe before an “s,” and sometimes after. What gives?
Here are a couple of examples:
The twins’ style is so different, even though they are identical.
You can catch Mo Audio every Wednesday on Jabari Graham’s ABL Radio.
When you’re forming a possessive, and the item (or person) doing the possessing ends in “s,” you add the apostrophe to the end of the word.
Conversely, if the word doesn’t end in “s,” add one and put the apostrophe before it.
Here’s how to remember it: No “s,” add one. With “s,” needs none.
Do you like to be sure of things? One thing you may not be so sure about is the difference between “ensure” and “insure.”
Ensure means to guarantee, or make sure of something.
Insure references insurance, or paying a premium for future protection of assets, like a house or a car.
Here’s a way to remember it: It’s “easier” (with an “e”) to ensure something, but “I” don’t like paying for insurance.