Sometimes, politics takes a back seat to grammar and spelling. And if I'm ever elected president, good grammar will be my top priority. Jim Papak of Streamwood wrote this: "Ever since the national anthem protests began I was bothered by the term 'kneeled.' I've seen it in print and heard it on the various sports outlets. I thought that the past tense of 'kneel' was 'knelt.' Well, Jim, it depends largely on which side of the pond you come from. "Kneel" is an irregular verb, as are "dream" and "leap."
I was sifting through some old papers the other day and happened upon a letter my boss had written me after my summer internship with the then-weekly Herald newspapers in Lake County in 1983. It was full of wonderful advice and encouragement. It included this nugget, which likely came after another in support of short declarative sentences: "Work on your spelling. It needs it. If you don't have a dictionary, buy one." You see, John, I DO listen to you.
I've come up with a new occasional feature for this column that I'll call "one-offs." While not exactly a double-entendre (more on that toward the end of the column,) "one-off" does have two meanings. First -- and you can thank me now -- they're quick hits. Second, they'll examine pairs of words that are just one letter off and are routinely used interchangeably. If you can think of one-offs you'd like me to write about, send me an email.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".