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When NOT to capitalize names of historical periods/movements

Names of political or cultural periods or events are capitalized in their original connotations but should be in lower case when used in a generic (general) sense. Example: The arts and sciences flourished during the Renaissance. [Referring specifically to the period of cultural movement called Renaissance in Italy, hence capital] BUT There are lots of … Continue reading


‘put your feet up’ and ‘let your hair down’

To put your feet up and to let your hair down both means to relax. Example: I like nothing better than putting my feet up after a hard day’s work, with a drink and a book. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It’s time to let your hair down and enjoy the evening.

‘much-needed’ or ‘much needed’? When to hyphenate adverbs+participle/adjective

When you have an adverb ending in ly, followed by a participle or an adjective, do not hyphenate it, whether you are using it before or after a noun. Example: a highly paid banker he was mildly amusing BUT For adverbs not ending in ly + participle or adjective, use a hyphen before a noun, … Continue reading

‘some time’ ‘sometime’ or ‘sometimes’?

Some time (with two stresses) means quite a long time. Example: She has lived in China for quite some time, so she speaks Mandarin quite well. Sometime refers to an indefinite time, usually in the future; it means one day. Example: Why don’t we meet for a drink after work sometime next week? Sometimes is … Continue reading

Having a yellow streak

Having a yellow streak is being cowardly. Example: 1. I went rock climbing, but my friend backed off. He has a mile-wide yellow streak running down his back. **NOTE** ‘mile-wide’ simply means long. It’s just the way we use it in conversational English. A ‘streak’ is basically a long, thin mark that is different in … Continue reading

‘At’ for place

At is used to talk about position at a point. Example: It is very hot at the center of the earth. (Center of the earth=position at a point) Sometimes we use at with a larger place, if we just think of it as a point: a stage on a journey or a meeting place, for … Continue reading

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