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ChanteSez … Make Dad’s day

10 Jun

You’ve got a few days, but Father’s Day will be here before we know it. I was asked to write a couple of paragraphs about fathers recently, and it was tough to keep it brief considering how much I love and appreciate my dad.

Before we get to that, here’s a rule that applies to dads (and moms).

If “Dad” is his name, capitalize it all the same.

My father’s name is Ronald. That’s a proper noun. My mom’s name is Cynthia. Same deal — since their names are proper nouns, they’re capitalized.

And in the example above, because you’re using “Dad” as his name, it’s capitalized.

Try this: Replace “mom” or “dad” with their real names. If it fits, capitalize it.

I went to my dad’s house for breakfast — his pancakes are the best!

My mom and I talk at least once a week — when I can get her to answer her phone!

If there’s one thing Dad believes in, it is learning.

I thought I was good at putting together a quick dinner, but Mom is the master chef.

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Chante Sez … It’s unfair to judge

12 Nov

If we would take the time to judge ourselves — examine ourselves first, that is — we often wouldn’t be judged by others. Of course, when others do judge, it’s unfair.

I try not to judge myself for constantly misspelling judgment. I’m always inclined to add a second “e.”

Here’s my tip on how to avoid “judgement.”

Judgment is wrong; it’s an an error. Since “error” starts with “e,” remember that it’s an error to add one.

ChanteSez … Cool it now

22 Oct

With cool weather comes references to temperature.

A common mistake is to say the temperature is getting warmer or — in the case of autumn and winter — cooler.

But think about what’s at play here. It’s the temperature itself, not the weather.

Temperatures only rise or fall when used in this context. A few examples:

My dad would always make me wear a hat when the temperature started to fall.

Folks love it when August hits and the weather gets cooler — but not so much when there’s a big temperature drop in the winter.

Georgia has distinct seasons. When September comes, the days start cool but then the temperature raises to the mid-70s.

Think of it this way: Temps drop, weather does not.

ChanteSez … There’s no easy way through

24 Sep

Shorthand is commonplace when you’re texting or on Twitter and Facebook. And fast communication has a friend in fast food.

“Thru” is often used in place of the proper “through.”

But “drive-thru” is actually the only term where the shorthand is correct.

I understand you’re in a rush. Just remember to write right when it really matters.

ChanteSez … Back that thing up

17 Sep

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.

ChanteSez … Is it ‘then’ or ‘than’?

13 Aug

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.

ChanteSez … Know your criminal acts

9 Jul

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!