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Quite a Literary Day

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Happy World Book and Copyright Day!

Organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Book Day began as a day to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. It was first celebrated on April 23, 1995.

Many events are taking place today, including Amazon’s celebration of reading. It’s also a good day to donate to your favorite literacy organization or just to curl up in your favorite reading chair with a good book.

There also is a Twitter hashtag — #LoveToRead —where social media bibliophiles can share their passions.

Coincidentally, April 23 is both William Shakespeare’s birthday and death day. If you’ve been a long-time reader of Bibliophilic Blather, you know how much I love Shakespeare. I’ve written about the Ten Things I Love About Shakespeare, wished him a happy 450th birthday, gone to him when I was weary, literally visited him in Stratford, and discussed how novelists can learn from playwrights. So, c…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The Letter 'P'

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Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?


Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



We resume our alphabetical study this week with words that begin with the letter “P.” Surprisingly, there are quite a few important spellings and clarifications in this category, so I’ll do a second part next week.

Pair

Pair is the singular form of the word, despite, as the Chicago Manual of Style notes, “the inherent sense of twoness.” The plural is pairs.

Example

Joe bought three pairs of shoes at the outlet mall. 


Parallel, paralleled, paralleling

All three have a double “l” in the middle, something I seldom remember and constantly have to look up.


Peacemaker, peacemaking

One word for both peacemaker and peacemaking.


Peak, peek, pique

A peak is an apex, according to CMS. The word for a quick or illicit glance is peek. Pique has two meanings, the first being to annoy or arouse, as i…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Can and May

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Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?


Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER




Do you remember being in elementary school and having to use the facilities? Making your way up to the teacher’s desk after waiting too long to begin with, crossing your legs in a futile attempt to stave off what could only be described as certain humiliation?

“Can I have the girls’ bathroom pass?”

The teacher looks up blankly at you. “I suppose you could.” And then goes back to grading papers without handing you anything.

You hop from foot to foot, pee pee dancing in utter disbelief.

The teacher sighs and puts down her red pen. “May I help you?”

Finally, the lightbulb goes on. “May I have the girls’ bathroom pass?”

“Yes, of course, dear.”

You rip the pass out of her hand and sprint down the hall.

It was an infuriating, but effective way to learn the difference between “can” an…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Spring Sports Words

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Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?
Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


With the baseball season beginning this week, the Masters Tournament this upcoming weekend, and my son’s high school lacrosse game tonight (Go Huskies!), I thought I’d cover some basic spring sports words today. Regardless of if you are into sports or not, everyone should have at least a basic understanding and know some of the terms.




Baseball

Ballclub, ballpark, ballplayer 

These are all one word. The exception is ball game, which is two words according to Merriam-Webster.com. The Associated Press Stylebook 2016 has it as one word, ballgame, so make a note of that depending for what or where you are writing.

Baseline

Baseline (one word, no hyphen) is the term for the lines on a baseball field (or diamond) that lead from home plate to first base and third base and are extended int…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Oh, I See

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Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Before we get started with our usual Wednesday post, have you heard the news?

Using they as a singular pronoun or gender-neutral pronoun will be added to the updated Associated Press Stylebook coming out at the end of May. AP representatives announced the new rule last week during a session at the 21st national conference of ACES: The Society for Editing in St. Petersburg, Fla. Click here to read the entire story.

Today, let’s talk about words that begin with the letter “O,” which includes both an adjective I tend to associate with Jane Austen’s characterization of Mr. Collins, odious, as well as a phrase basketball fans are sure to be familiar with since March Madness is wrapping up in a few days, out of bounds.

Also, the March issue of EFG Digest, a monthly recap of all of m…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Weather Words

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Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?

POSTED BY KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Since I live in Chicagoland, a place that can experience all four seasons in one week, I thought these first few days of spring in the northern hemisphere would be a perfect time to discuss weather words. I kid you not. Today's temperature is 38°. Friday, it's supposed to be in the low-70s.
The Associated Press Stylebook 2016 has an excellent section that bases its definitions on those used by the National Weather Service. Here’s a sampling of some weather words, what they mean, and when to use them.

Blizzard
A snowstorm is officially a blizzard if it has wind speeds of 35 mph or more, plus considerable falling and/or blowing snow with visibility of less than one-quarter mile for three or more hours. 

Cyclone, funnel cloud, tornado, water spout
A cyclone is a storm that ha…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The Letter 'N'

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Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER

The letter “N” has some definite quirks. For example, did you know there’s an “e” in noticeable? And that’s just the beginning. Here are some interesting things about words that begin with “N.”

Naturalist, naturist

A naturalist is one who studies natural history or an amateur who observes, photographs, draws, or writes about nature. 
A naturist is a nature worshipper or a nudist. 
Nauseous, nauseated

People often say something made them nauseous. Technically, that’s incorrect. Whatever is nauseous induces the feeling is nausea, according to The Chicago Manual of Style. The actual act of feeling sick to one’s stomach is to be nauseated. 
CMS recommends skipping nauseous altogether and sticking to nauseated and its adjective form of nauseating. I think that’s a pretty safe bet. 
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