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How to Write Right: Less Is More

Farewell, readers! This is the final How to Write Right column.

Farewell, readers! There will not be anymore “How to Write Right” columns any more.

Is this an example sentence or an announcement? In truth, it’s both. After a two-and-a-half-year run, How to Write Right is retiring. Don’t worry, I will still be hanging around, sternly enforcing the correct comma style you have come to expect from City Arts.

Naturally, though, I have some parting observations to make. In the example announcement, I reversed the one-word and two-word forms of “anymore.” What’s the difference between them? When spelled as one word, “anymore” is an adverb indicating the changes wrought by time. Usually used in negative statements, it communicates that something no longer occurs or will no longer occur.

The two-word form can substitute for “anymore,” but it is also a phrase that refers to quantity. If someone asks if there is any more cake (“any more” used as an adjective), you might regretfully respond that, no, there isn’t any more (“any more” used as a noun). In the example sentence, the first “anymore” involves quantity (the lack of additional columns), while the second refers to time (the future will not bring any columns). We can leave the second “any more” as is, or we can modify the statement as follows:

Farewell, readers! There will not be any more “How to Write Right” columns anymore. 

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