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Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod is a highly qualified secondary English Language Arts Instructor who brings a diverse educational background to her classroom. With degrees in science, English, and literacy, she has worked to create cross-curricular materials to bridge learning gaps and help students focus on effective writing and speech techniques. Currently working as a dual credit technical writing instructor at a Career and Technical Education Center, her curriculum development surrounds student focus on effective communication for future career choices.

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What is a Backslash Symbol?

The backslash is not used in writing, but it is worth identifying where it belongs and how it should be used. Not to be confused with the forward-slash symbol, the backslash will never be seen in either formal or informal writing, but you will see it in computer programming and mathematical equations.  Take a look at how the backslash symbol is used so you can avoid accidentally using it in place of a forward slash when writing.  What is a …

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Curly Braces Punctuation – Is It Brackets or Braces?

Your keyboard has many punctuation marks on it, namely no less than four types of punctuation sets designed to separate words from the rest of a text. They all have multiple names as well, making them confusing to define. These marks, called braces and brackets, include parentheses, chevrons or angle brackets, and braces. And, if you don’t know the difference between a brace and bracket, you might become frustrated when each is acceptable to use.  Let’s look at what a …

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Angle Bracket Symbol

Most people are unaware that there are four different types of brackets in English grammar since they may only use parentheses (otherwise known as round brackets) or square brackets. The other two, curly and angle brackets, are rarely seen but have their uses.  The angle bracket, in particular, is rarely used in modern writing despite its fascinating history that spans thousands of years. Let’s take a closer look at the angle bracket and how it can be used.  What are …

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When to Use Square Brackets […] – With Examples

Of the four types of brackets found in English punctuation marks, the square bracket is amongst the most popular. Alongside the parentheses, the square bracket works to separate words within text for added detail and information.  The difference between parenthesis and bracket use is important, as each separates different types of information. With plenty of examples, read on to see how to use a square bracket properly.  What Are Square Brackets Used For? Square brackets […], also called brackets, are …

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Meaning of Binomials in English – With Examples

Word pairs are popular options to help create flow and add detail and expression to your explanations. They are commonly used and have a formal name: binomials.  Also called binomial expressions and binomial pairs, there is a huge list of phrases that fit this category, of which we have shared examples below. Take a look at what binomials are, why they are used, and how you can use them to help clarify your writing.  What is a Binomial? Binomials are …

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In The Weeds

If you feel lost, frustrated, or very focused on current problems, work, or personal life, you may feel like you are in the weeds with things. This well-known idiom has been in use since at least the 1600s with periods or popularity in reference to different societal issues or problems.  Although its origin is not precisely known, it is a descriptive term worth understanding to help describe your own situation. Take a look at what it means and what other …

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The Hill you Want to Die on Idiom Definition

The hill you want to die on stems from 20th-century American literary works related to military origins. It is often used in a questioning form to ask if an opinion or action is truly worth the effort.   It also can be used to strengthen an argument further; that something is important enough to die upon that hill. In this case, the hill is meant to represent a struggle worth fighting for. Take a look at how it is used and …

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En Dash vs. Em Dash vs. Hyphen – How to Properly Use Them

A dash is a dash is a dash unless it is a hyphen, correct?  You aren’t alone if you are confused and use a dash and a hyphen interchangeably (or thought they were the same thing). Unfortunately, the en dash, em dash, and hyphen are often incorrectly used due to their lack of apparent keyboard support. But, these little marks stand for very different things, and you can bring understanding and emphasis to your reader through their proper use.  Take …

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The Interrobang Punctuation Mark(‽) – How to Use it Properly

An interrobang is a punctuation mark that consists of an exclamation point and a question mark superimposed on top of one another. You may never have heard of an interrobang, but it was first introduced in the 1960s and continues to add both a questioning and surprised tone to sentences when properly used. Invented by an advertising agency owner, it even made its way onto the typewriter in 1968 despite being absent from most modern keyboards.  What Is an Interrobang? …

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Weather vs. Whether vs. Wether – What’s the Difference?

Is it weather or whether or not? And what is a whether? If you struggle with the spelling and use of these homonyms, you aren’t alone. All three, despite having the same pronunciation, mean very different things. Let’s look at their definitions and meanings so you better understand how to use them correctly in speech and writing.  What’s the Difference Between Weather, Whether, and Wether? Weather and whether are homophones that can be easy to confuse, but they mean two …

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