A: Some stylebooks say yes, and some say no. Are you any less confused? These two words are often used in place of each other, but WD’s style separates them.WD—and many other publications—uses “insure” only when referring to financial insurance policies. After signing a contract with a professional baseball team, Jack decided to insure his pitching arm for $1 million. When the meaning is “to make certain,” WD sticks with “ensure.” It’s my job to ensure that you don’t misuse terms like these.
There are some newspapers and magazines, such as The New York Times and The New Yorker, that still use “insure” in both instances, but it’s fairly archaic to do so. Most publications differentiate the two.
Upcoming Writers’ Conferences – Join Me!
As the online editor of Writer’s Digest (and a published author) I speak at writing events to help others get published. Here’s a list of upcoming events where either I or another Writer’s Digest staffer will offer instruction. Many of these events have agents taking pitches. Sign up now!
- March 19 – 20, 2016: The Well-Sold Story Weekend (Boston)
- March 31 – April 2, 2016: The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (Dayton, OH)
- April 9, 2016: Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia, PA)
- April 30, 2016: Write Now! Conference (Raleigh, NC)
- May 14, 2016: Chicago Writing Workshop (Chicago, IL)
- June 4, 2016: The Writers’ Conference of Cleveland (Cleveland, OH)
- July 23, 2016: Tennessee Writing Workshop (Nashville)
- July 30, 2016: Colorado Writing Conference (Denver)
- Aug. 12-14, 2016: Writer’s Digest Conference (New York City)
- Sept. 10, 2016: The Chesapeake Writing Workshop (Washington, DC)
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Debunking 10 Grammar (and Novel Writing) Myths
Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift book Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.