Volume 2 of the Something in the Water series arrives Tuesday, January 30!

Archives: wordbird tips

WordBird Tips: Citation Styles

WordBird Tips: Citation Styles

You’re sitting in class, going over the syllabus, when you notice you’ve got a ten-page research essay due at the end of the semester. Or maybe you’ve reached the end of the novel study, and your teacher is now passing around the essay assignment details.

Either which way, you know you’ve got a paper to write. And in the instructions, the teacher’s told you which citation style you must use. If you don’t cite your sources, you’ll be accused of plagiarism. If you do it wrong, you’ll lose marks.

WordBird Tips: Nauseous vs. Nauseate

WordBird Tips: Nauseous vs. Nauseate

I’ll be upfront and honest: I’m not a grammar traditionalist in the slightest. I believe you should use commas and colons correctly, sure, but I’m not the kind of editor or writer who believes in artificial constructions like ensuring you never break an infinitive or rearranging a sentence so it doesn’t end with a preposition.


I definitely do not abide by the divide between “nauseate” and “nauseous.” The people who do are the people who read Strunk & White and take it as gospel, including all that nonsense about passive voice.

A nauseated pumpkin.

This pumpkin is nauseated, according to the photographer.

Most people these days use “nauseous” to describe a feeling. You might go to your doctor if you’ve been experiencing nausea and tell the good doctor you’re “nauseous.”


If your GP is a grammar purist, they will laugh. And laugh. And laugh.



WordBird Tips for Meeting Your Word Count

WordBird Tips for Meeting Your Word Count

Meeting a word count be daunting for a writer; it often feels less like a goal and more like a limitation. However, most writers will agree that it can be a great way of measuring progress. In a metric-obsessed world, where we count footsteps to ensure we’re getting our daily exercise and hits to websites to determine how much advertisers will be willing to pay, writers crave something that gives them some sense of accomplishment. When we set goals for ourselves, we create achievements. A writer who hits their word count might as well get an “achievement unlocked!” graphic flashing across the screen.

Word Count: 500.

On your way to the next writing goal!