Christina Milanowski wrote a great article on the social media and tech terms we all use and their proper spellings and citations last Thursday. Check out "A Social Media Grammar Lesson: 24 Tech Terms You Can't Live Without."
To celebrate, here are some of my favorite grammar tips from Bibliophilic Blather's Editing for Grammarphobes days.
When used as a verb, “affect” means to influence, according to The Associate Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. "Effect"means to cause. Used as a noun, “effect” means result.
The weather affects traffic patterns.
The new mayor will effect many changes in the city.
He did not realize the effect his actions would have upon others.
This word does not exist. Period. Always use regardless.
Where Does the Apostrophe Go?
I apologize for sounding harsh, but there have been way too many misplaced apostrophes when writing about decades. From television to billboards to even print journalism, people all around the country have been exposed to it for so long, the wrong way has become commonplace.
Why are these incorrect?
The rule is to use an apostrophe to indicate numerals that are left out and add an “s” to show the plural, according to The Chicago Manual of Style and The Associated Press Stylebook.
I do not know where the “apostrophe s” came from. Traditionally, it is used to indicate possession and makes no sense here. A decade cannot have anything.
The correct way would be the following.
‘90s (with the apostrophe inserted to replace of the missing “19” of 1990)
A list of 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words
canceled (Makes sense.)
canceling (I can see that.)
cancellation (WHAT? Why the double “L” all of a sudden?)
bologna (Why is this the proper spelling for the lunch meat and why is it pronounced bah-loan-ee?)
Phoebe (How can this word possibly be pronounced fee-bee?)
Cutting the Fat
Advanced planning: Planning by its very nature occurs in advance.
Bald-headed: Bald means to have little or no hair on the scalp, so no need to add the extra word.
Commute back and forth: If you are not going to and from something, I don’t think you are commuting.
Descend down: Since “descend” means to move down from a higher level, just use the verb.
Entirely eliminate: Eliminate means to eradicate something. The adverb is unnecessary.
Source: "200 Common Redundancies" by Richard Nordquist, http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/redundancies.htm.
What is your favorite grammar tip or pet peeve?