Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: I 'C' U


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?


Today, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 focuses on word groups that begin with the letter "C". Some are homophones, and some have tricky spelling, but all of them can cause writers and editors headaches. 


Cancel, canceled, canceling, but cancellation


Why? Who knows, but that's how it is. Best to just memorize it or at least remember it's something you need to look up before you press send.

Carat, caret, karat

Not to be confused with carrot of the eating kind, these three words mean completely different things despite sounding alike.

A carat is the weight of diamonds. It equals up to 200 milligrams or about 3 grains, according to AP Style. A caret is a proofreader's mark that looks like this ^ and is used to insert a word or phrase into a sentence. Jewelry lovers will know that a karat is the proportion of pure gold used with an alloy, as in 24k gold. It is equal to 1/24 part of pure gold in alloy.

Caster, castor

A caster is a roller, like on the bottom of chairs. Castor refers to castor oil.

Censer, censor, censure

Did you know that a censer is a vessel for burning incense? I didn't. I never really knew what that was called. Censor means to prohibit or restrict the use of something or to delete anything considered objectionable. To censure is to condemn or is an official reprimand.

Cleanup, Clean up

Cleanup is the noun and adjective form, while the verb is split into two words, aka clean up.



References


These five books are on my desk at all times. Maybe they'll help you as well.

The Associated Press Stylebook, 2016 edition
The Chicago Manual of Style
Strunk and White's The Elements of Style
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dicitionary, 11th edition
The Bugaboo Review: A lighthearted guide to exterminating confusion about words, spelling, and grammar by Sue Sommer

Grammar Nerd Question of the Week

What is the difference between a cynic and a skeptic?





Monday, September 19, 2016

A Groovy Kind of Sale

Just wanted to let you know A Groovy Kind of Love e-books are on sale for just 99¢ from now until Thursday, Sept. 22 on all platforms—Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords. That's a 75% savings!

Paperbacks are also only $11.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Did you know? A Groovy Kind of Love received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Chicago Writers' Association Book of the Year awards and was a 2015 Big Al's Books & Pals Readers' Choice Award Nominee. Right now, it has 4.5 stars on Amazon.



Here's what some reviewers have said.

"A Groovy Kind of Love was JUST what I needed…hippies, unrequited love, crazy/high families,  mysterious exes from the past, foreign travel, tragedy. Really, what more could a reader ask for? This book is The Odd Couple meets Beauty and the Beast with a touch of Nicholas Sparks tragedy thrown in for good measure."   — The Republican Herald book blog

"...you realize this is about true love. Not teen love. Not young love or puppy love. But love that is in your soul. So few books bring me to tears because of how true and honest the experience and emotions are portrayed....A must read. And I don’t say it often, but a re-read." — Clutter Your Kindle

"BernerÊ»s empathetic description of Springʼs recovery was inspiring. What a pleasure to read such a life-affirming novel." — Windy City Reviews

"...exquisite!" — The Book Dilettante

"...well-written, funny, a bit of romance and a perfect read. Five stars!" — Juniper Grove

If you'd like to join our little community of Bibliophiles on Facebook, click here. To subscribe to my newsletter, click here. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter, Goodreads, Google+ or drop me a line at karen@karenberner.com. I'd love to hear from you.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Muslim Edition


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?



This week, Muslims all over the world celebrated Eid-al-Adha, one of two official holidays. Eid-al-Adha, known as “Sacrifice Feast,” is the most important Islamic holiday and recalls the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham to Christians and Jews) to sacrifice his son. Some people slaughter sheep or cattle, then distribute part of the meat to the poor and eat the rest. 

There is so much misinformation about Islam and Muslims floating around, I thought today would be a good day to set the record straight and feature terms that we have all heard, but might not know exactly what they mean or how to spell them. 

First off, Islam is the religion of more than one billion people. The followers of Islam are called Muslims. Their holy book is the Quran. The place of worship is a mosque, and the holy day of the week is Friday.

Most of the world’s Muslims reside in a wide belt that reaches halfway across the world, according to the AP Stylebook, across West Africa and North Africa, through the Arab countries of the Middle East, and onto Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Asian countries, parts of the former Soviet Union and western China, to Indonesia and the southern Philippines.

There are two major branches of Islam: Sunni and Shiite

Clergy titles vary, but according to AP Stylebook, these are the most common.

Grand Mufti: The highest authority in Quranic law.

Sheikh: Used by most clergymen in the same manner as reverend for Christians. Note that not all sheikhs are clergymen. It also can be a secular title of respect or nobility.

Ayatollah: Used by Shiites to denote senior clergymen.

Hojatoleslam: A rank below Ayatollah.

Mullah: Lower-level clergy.

Imam: Used by some sects as the title for a prayer leader at a mosque. Among Shiites, it usually has a more exalted connotation.

Here are some of the terms used for Islamic women’s clothing. Note that not all Muslim women choose to wear these. 

Burqa: The all-covering dress worn by some Muslim women.

Chador: A cloak worn by some Muslim women that covers their hair, necks, and shoulders, but not their faces.

Hijab: The head scarf worn by some Muslim women.

Niqab: The veil some Muslim women wear in which, at most, only their eyes show.

Islam has two major holidays — the aforementioned Eid-al-Adha and Eid-al-Fitr, which is the three-days at the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: To B or not to B

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?







Is there anything more embarrassing than using the wrong word? It happens to us all, of course, but it's also a surefire way for you and your writing to lose credibility. Today, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 focuses on some tricky word pairings, which start with the letter "B," that can trip up even the best of us.

Baloney, bologna


Baloney is ridiculous or foolish talk, nonsense.

And although the dictionary lists bologna as a variation of baloney, AP Style states bologna is the word for sausage or lunchmeat. 

Beside, besides


Beside means at the side of. 

Besides means as well or in addition to.

Biannual, biennial


Biannual is twice a year.

Biennial is every two years. 

Boats, ships


Boat refers to any small watercraft. Ship means a large, seagoing vessel, with the exception of a ferryboat, which has boat in its name just to screw with us, but is, in fact, a larger craft.

Boycott, embargo


According to AP Style, "a boycott is an organized refusal to buy a particular product or service, or to deal with a particular merchant or group of merchants."

AP states an embargo is legal restriction against trade, usually prohibiting goods from entering or leaving a country. It goes on to add the plural is embargoes.

Brahman, Brahmin


Brahman refers to the priestly Hindu caste, as well as a breed of cattle.

Brahmin, spelled with an i, can be used to describe aristocracy in general, like when people use the term "Boston Brahmin" when speaking of elite members of Boston's traditional upper class, particularly in the 19th century.

References


These five books are on my desk at all times. Maybe they'll help you as well.


Grammar Nerd Question of the Week: 


Which is the word for "a fair or market," bizarre or bazaar?







Friday, September 2, 2016

Fighting for Your Writing



Last Friday, I was a guest blogger over at Wow! Women on Writing's blog, The Muffin. I discussed the issue of fighting for your writing time and space, something that isn't always easy with a family.

Here's the link.

Friday Speak Out!: You will do anything to save your kids or your partner, but what about your writing?


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The 'A' s Have It

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?




Today, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 tackles word pairings that often cause confusion, such as adverse and averse, accept and except, and arbitrate and mediate, as well as the nagging question of when to use awhile versus a while.

Which is correct?


Accept or except? 

Accept is a verb that means to receive.

Example:
John accepted the cake from Susan, despite its unusual smell.

Except means to leave out of or exclude.

Example:
All of the guests except Susan became ill after eating the cake. 

Adverse or averse?

Adverse is an adjective that means unfavorable or harmful.

Example:
The cake had an adverse effect on the party guests.

Averse is an adjective that means reluctant or disinclined.

Example:
Susan is averse to answering questions about the cake.

Allude, elude, or refer?

Allude is to use an indirect reference.

Example: 
Susan alluded to adding traces of rat poisoning in the cake.

Refer is to mention something directly.

Example: 
Susan referred to the time when she caught John cheating with Josie.

Elude is to escape.

Example:
Susan eluded the police.

Arbitrate or mediate?

There is a subtle difference. Arbitrate means to hear evidence from all concerned parties, then make a decision or ruling. To mediate is to listen to both parties and try to bring them to an agreement.

Example: 
A mutually agreed upon party, Sid mediated John and Susan's divorce proceedings to no avail, so they brought in Shelby, who arbitrated the case.

Anybody, any body, anyone, or any one?

Use one word for an indefinite reference.

Example:
Anyone can see Susan is crazy.

The two-word phrase is used to single out someone or something.

Example:
Any one of them could testify that Susan tried to poison John.


Grammar Nerd Question of the Week:


Can anyone tell me what is the difference between aural and oral?













Friday, August 26, 2016

Introducing Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0


Hello!

I’ve missed all of you lovely Bibliophiles.

I’ve been dealing with my father’s declining health and all that entails, including several hospital stays and moving him twice, the second time to a senior care facility where I know he receives excellent care. I have one piece of advice about dealing with aging parents — don’t be an only child! Oy!

Anyhow, I just landed a new freelance assignment that uses AP style guidelines, so I bought a new copy of The Associated Press Stylebook to brush up after years of using the Chicago Manual of Style for the books and fiction in general. The 2016 AP Stylebook is filled with so many updates, my little grammar nerd self can’t resist sharing with you that I am bringing back Editing for Grammarphobes.

Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 will feature a ton a great information on proper usage, homophones, updates, and general word nerd heaven.

I’m not going to cover any specific style items, in case you use Chicago Manual, just handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. Everyone needs to write, right?

I hope you will join me for the first installment of Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 on Wednesday, August 31.

See you then,
Karen