How Spanish taught me to love English

This summer I’ve been doing some tutoring in order to not be such a broke college student and to keep my mind chugging through the off-season. I offer tutoring in English, math and Spanish, and recently I had a session tutoring a high school freshman in Spanish. Now I’m almost
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A summer spent learning to scrutinize

When I was selected to join The Daily Californian’s summer copy desk, I was ecstatic. It was a new step in my modest editorial career, and I was honored to join an entity so prominent as to be known by essentially every UC Berkeley student. And I always enjoy working
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A grammar police officer off duty

Being a member of the grammar police is not a duty to be taken lightly. It requires constant watchfulness to effectively rid the earth of sloppy “there / their / they’re” usage and double negatives. There is, however, one situation that warrants the turning of a blind eye. You must
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The profits of near perfection

Despite my bitter awareness of the newspaper’s downtrend, I thought I could trust my journalism professor to encourage, to console. But his realism didn’t sit well with me. The semester was sprinkled with statements addressing the sorry slump. But instead of trying to solace the worried students who dreamed of
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If everything is awesome, then nothing is

Back in the day — and I’m talking the 17th century here, not the ’70s, though the entity currently known as Carlin Liao wasn’t really a thing in either of those time periods — the word “awesome” meant what its component subwords meant, describing something that “inspires awe.” No, not kittens-are-cute-and-cuddly
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Musings on meaning

For the past five semesters of my life, I’ve sought to learn as much about grammar and language possible. It started when I became a copy editor for The Daily Californian, where I spent four hours per week fixing other people’s writing and fancying myself some sort of grammar guru
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Putting modifiers in their places

The misplaced (or dangling) modifier is one of the sneakiest grammar errors — once it slips into your writing, it may be difficult to catch and correct, especially when the modifiers are longer phrases or clauses, rather than just a single word. Some of these misplaced modifiers are simple to
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That is, for example

It seems like every time I want to use i.e. or e.g. in my writing, I have to Google the meaning of each to avoid an embarrassing mishap on a paper. And I don’t think I’m the only one who gets these Latin abbreviations mixed up. E.g., which means exempli
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Diary of a hot-and-cold copy editor

Dear Diary, Sept. 30, 2013 — Working at a newspaper’s copy desk is already so much fun! I learned so much today about AP style. For instance, “convince” and “persuade” are not synonymous. How can even the most seasoned of copy editors possibly wrap their head around so many intricate
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On the semicolon

I loved using semicolons when I was really young. I had no idea what they represented or how one was supposed to apply them, but I just thought they looked cool, so I threw them haphazardly into my sentences wherever I thought one would fit aesthetically. The frequency only worsened
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