Style

Carrot-and-stick

As an adjective carrot-and-stick refers to the carrot and stick (also known as the carrot or stick) idiom. The phrase means a methodology or system of rules that incorporates reward and punishment to elicit a certain behavior. In order to motivate a donkey to move, there are two methods. Either you strike it with a stick or you urge it along with a carrot. The spelling is uncertain as far as the idiom is concerned, since it is not listed in most dictionaries. The name is carrot …

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How to Make a Last Name Plural or Possessive – Rules & Examples

Every year I receive Christmas cards, and like clockwork, at least one of them uses an apostrophe -s to donate a plural last name. Although this may seem cringe-worthy to a grammarian, the confusion is understandable. Making a last name plural or possessive can be a little tricky, but if you can remember a few simple rules, you’ll avoid the common mistakes that so many people make. Review our guide below, learn how to create plurals and possessives of last …

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Is “Vice President” Capitalized And Hyphenated?

Nouns are an essential part of your speech. They comprise many of the subjects and objects of your sentences, and how you use them helps clarify your message to your readers. Nouns are either common or proper and help define some of the details of your work. Common nouns name broad categories, while proper nouns name specific items within those categories and should always be capitalized. However, capitalization rules evade some of the best writers, creating confusion about the importance …

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A.D., B.C., B.C.E., C.E.

A.D.: (anno domini, Latin for in the year of the lord) the period beginning with the year 1. C.E.: common era, an alternative term for A.D. B.C.: (before christ) all time before the year 1. B.C.E.: before common era.

Ages (hyphenation)

When phrases like 12-year-old are adjectives, they are hyphenated when they precede what they modify, and unhyphenated when they follow what they modify. As nouns, they are hyphenated.