Judy Hagey

Nonfiction Editor ~ Freelance Writer

No one chooses to lose. Or do they?

If you need another example of the confusion that reigns in the English language, I tackle another set of confusables today: choose – chose and loose – lose. Even though they look similar – normally a hint for rhyming words, there's not a rhyming pair in the bunch. You want to start with choose – […]

Take a Deep Breath

Judging from this sign I saw recently on a computer terminal at an eatery, I’m not the only one who has to stop and think about when to use breath and when breathe is the right choice. Let me clear up the confusion for the sign writer and anyone else who needs some help with […]

When a Question isn’t Really a Question

Not every question requires a question mark. Trust me. How often don’t you ask a rhetorical question. One that you really don’t expect an answer to. (Like the first sentence in this paragraph.) So when does a question need a question mark? When you expect an answer. Direct questions—the kind journalists ask to get a […]

Word of the Week – homing in

When he was young, our oldest son sang out “homey, homey,” whenever we pulled into the driveway from an out-of-town trip. I use that rather homely introduction to home in on the Word of the Week. Or is it hone in? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not sure. Even the experts aren’t […]

Don’t Let Scare Quotes Scare You

I recently edited a paper that included an inordinate number of scare quotes. The writer may have thought he was doing readers a favor by placing quotation marks around a word he was introducing or using in an unusual or nontraditional way. But really, it was just plain scary the number of times they were […]