Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Introducing Editing for Grammarphobes Digest



Love all of the grammar hints of Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0, but don't have time to check the blog every week?

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Valentine's Day 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?



Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, so while you’re coming off from your sugar high, I thought I’d share some words associated with the holiday and their correct spelling and/or usage.

Valentine’s Day


Yes, there is an apostrophe in Valentine’s Day. It comes from the original St. Valentine’s Day, which mandates the possessive, as do some unhealthy relationships.

Also, please do not say Valentimes, as I’ve heard mispronounced so often throughout my life. It’s just not right.

Valentine


Merriam-Webster offers three definitions for the word “valentine.” The first is “a sweetheart chosen or complimented on Valentine’s Day.” Next is “a gift or greeting sent or given especially to a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day; especially a greeting card sent on this day.” Lastly, it can mean “something (as a movie or piece of writing, expressing uncritical praise or affection.”

Do not use valentine card or valentine’s. Those would be wrong.

Instead, it’s Valentine’s Day cards or simply valentines.

Heartthrob



One word, double t.

It can mean the literal “throb of a heart” or “a sentimental emotion,” but it’s more likely to be used when discussing the third part of the definition, “a usually renowned man (as an entertainer) noted for his sex appeal.”

The first known usage of the word was in 1796. Wonder if it was describing this strapping lad to the left?

Perhaps he could make a few ladies swoon at an assembly?

Nah, it was probably the corsets.



Puppy love


Always two words to describe the “transitory love or affection felt by a child or adolescent.” Puppy love is infinitely superior to its synonym calf-love, which does not seem very appealing. Also, why is calf-love hyphenated, while puppy love isn’t?

Oh, English, you silly bastard of a language!


Truelove


Here’s one I didn’t know. Truelove (one word) is a noun for “meaning one truly beloved or loving,” as in the following example.

Frank was married to his truelove, Sophie, for over sixty years.

I always thought it was two words. Oops.

The example is true, by the way. My grandparents, Frank and Sophie, were married for so long, he only lasted three months after her death until he died himself. They still held hands every day, and he told me when they would come to a stoplight, he would lean over and kiss “his bride,” as he used to call her, every time.

Trivia Question


Which one of these is an obscure word that means “of or relating to, or expressing, sexual love”?

A. amatorial
B. amaurotic
C. professorial
D. philosophical

Scroll down to see the answer.

Bonus Fact


Did you know the word “sweetheart” has been around for more than 700 years?


Trivia Answer

A. amatorial

Source


Merriam-Webster online has been the source for today’s post. If you haven’t been on there for awhile, check it out. There are so many interesting things and fun vocabulary quizzes. It’s a word nerd’s dream.


Bio


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Adds New Words





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?

Have you heard that 1,000 words have been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary? 

They range from new advances in science to pop culture to tech terms. Along with the fairly well-known, such as photo-bomb (note the hyphen), SCOTUS, train wreck (two words), and face-palm (another hyphen), there are some great obscure words as well. 

Here’s a sampling of the latest words to make the tome.


Abandonware: software that is no longer sold or supported by its creator.


Bokeh: the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field.



Fast fashion: an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.



Food insecure: unable to consistently access or afford adequate foodout: to be have like a geek; especially: to become excited or enthusiastic about a favored subject or activity.



Microaggression: a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group.  



Throw shade: to express contempt or disrespect for someone publicly especially by subtle or indirect insults or criticisms.



Woo-Woo: dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific. 


Click here to read the full story. 


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 Dictionary, 11th edition
The Bugaboo Review: A lighthearted guide to exterminating confusion about words, spelling, and grammar


Bio


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Lay, Lie, Lain






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?


What is the difference between “lay” and “lie,” and what are their forms?


“Lay”  is a transitive verb, so it takes a direct object, explainsThe Chicago Manual of StyleThe forms are lay, laid, and laid.


Examples of these are as follows.

I laid the pencil on the desk.
Those rumors have been laid to rest.
Now I lay me down to sleep.


“Lie” indicates a state of reclining on a horizontal plane, according to The Associated Press Stylebook. An intransitive verb, it never takes a direct object. The forms are lie, lay, and lain.

Examples from CMS include the following.

She lay down and rested.
He hasn't yet lain down.

In The Elements of Style, Strunk and White provide a handy way of remembering these rules. 

"The hen, or the play, lays an egg; the llama lies down. The playwright went home and lay down."


References

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

Strunk and White's The Elements of Style


Bio

A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Ready? Okay!


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?



Remember when people used to write, with a pen, I mean, as in penmanship? I was that dork who spent countless hours practicing getting my name just so. I haven’t thought about the physical act of cursive writing for awhile. Discussing the letter “K” this week brought back a wave of memories of fourth grade in Miss Alesh’s class, thick-lined paper, and practice, practice, practice, since I probably spent the most time on “K” and “W,” intertwining them into my own, self-designed monogram. I never said I was popular.

Anyhow, let’s see what’s up with words that begin with the letter “K.”

K


“K” is used in references to modem speed transmissions, as well as statistical references to kilometers, and to represent thousands in monetary amounts, according to the Associated Press Stylebook 2016.

Examples


George bought a 56K modem.

Barbara ran a 10K race.

Employee Jane Doe makes $50K. If she were a man doing the same job, she would earn 20% more.


Kibbutz


A kibbutz is an Israeli collective settlement or commune. The plural is kibbutzim, AP notes.


Kriss Kringle


Now this is interesting. According to AP, this alternative name for Santa Claus is derived from the German word, “Christkindl,” or baby Jesus, not from another version of Kris or Chris. I’ve been spelling it wrong for my entire life! How about you?


K2


K2 (no hyphen) is the world’s second-tallest mountain.


Kuomintang


The Chinese Nationalist political party is called Kuomintang, but do not add the word “party” afterward. Tang means party so you would be saying the Chinese Nationalist party party.



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 Dictionary, 11th edition
The Bugaboo Review: A lighthearted guide to exterminating confusion about words, spelling, and grammar


Bio


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jumping Back In



Photo courtesy of Danny Schreiner.

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?


My husband’s birthday last week signaled the official end of the holidays in the Berner home. Time to get back into our regular schedules and that means Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 every Wednesday. 

We ended our alphabet series in 2016 with the letter “I,” so let’s jump back in with “J.”


Jealousy, envy


More often than not, jealousy and envy are used synonymously, but according to The Chicago Manual of Style, that’s not correct. 

Jealousy, it states, “connotes feelings of resentment toward another, particularly in matters relating to intimate relationships.” On the other hand, envy, CMS notes, “refers to covetousness of another’s advantages, possessions, or abilities. 

Jibe, jive


Jibe means to shift direction in nautical terms, but it also is the colloquial word for “to agree,” such as in the following example sentence from The Associated Press Stylebook 2016.

Their stories didn’t jibe.

Not their stories didn’t jive, which I’ve heard many times. 

Jive is a jazz and swing music term. It also can mean “deceptive or phony talk,” according to The Bugaboo Review

JPEG, JPG


AP states these common image formats and acronyms for Joint Photographic Experts Group can be used alone with no parenthetical explanation. 

Did you know that is what JPEG stood for? Me either. See? You can learn so much on Editing for Grammarphobes day. 

Judge, judgment


Although judge ends with an “e,” it is not present in judgment. 


Juvenile


Note there is only one “l” in juvenile, not two. 


Happy New Year, my friends. I hope it brings you peace, love, and a whole lot of laughs. Join me next week for some kick-ass “K” words. 




Bio

A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association.



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Christmas 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?



Ho, ho, ho. Today’s Editing for Grammarphobes deals with commonly misspelled or generally confusing words that we hear a lot this time of year. So grab your favorite holiday beverage—peppermint mocha, eggnog, or mulled wine will do just fine—and join me for an Editing for Grammarphobes Christmas.


Is it Season’s Greetings or Seasons Greetings?


This phrase is in the genitive case, which means it is a possessive, so the correct expression is season’s greetings.


‘Tis or t’is?


‘Tis is a contraction of it is. The apostrophe takes the place of the missing letters, so the correct form is ‘tis.


How do you spell the name of the red-flowered seasonal plant?


The traditional Christmas plant is called a poinsettia. Yes, there is an "i" near the end, which is seldom pronounced. I try to remember, but always end up saying “poinsetta” anyhow. Everyone does.


What is upsot?


The second verse of “Jingle Bells” is as follows.

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot

What the heck does that mean?

Upsot is an alternate form of upset. It means to tip or overturn something. Wow! That Jingle Bells ride is crazier than I thought.


Happy New Year’s or Happy New Year?


The correct greeting is Happy New Year. The possessive should only be used when referring to New Year’s Eve.


Closing out 2016


This will be my last blog of the year. I’m going to take time off to hang out with my family.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. I wish you joy, peace, and love in the new year. xx






References


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