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Showing posts from 2017

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. 
Nav…

International Women's Day Strike

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In solidarity with my sisters participating in the A Day Without a Woman Strike, Editing for Grammarphobes will not be posted today. Please stop back next week for our usual blog discussing grammar hints and tips.

Thank you.



It's Read an E-book Week

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER

As part of "Read an E-book Week," all three of my novels, as well as my Christmas digital short story, are FREE on Smashwords from today until March 11.

A ton of Smashwords authors, publishers, and readers are participating in this week-long celebration that offers thousands of free and deeply discounted e-books of all genres. It's a reader's paradise! Learn more about "Read an E-book Week" here and here
You'll need the Smashwords coupon codes to get the Bibliophiles books for free, so here you go. 



If you're on Twitter, the hashtags to follow are #ebookweek and #Smashwords. While you're there, feel free to visit me, too.

Happy Reading!

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Mmm Mmm Good

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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
Can you believe it’s March already? The first part of the year just flies by. Before you know it, it will be Tax Day. Ugh. 
Well, since this is the first day of March, let’s talk about some words that begin with the letter “M.”
Mantle, mantel
A mantle is a cloak or, as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary states, “a figurative cloak symbolizing preeminence or authority,” as in the mantle of leadership.
A mantel is a shelf above a fireplace.  Mashup or mash-up?
There is conflicting advice on whether or not this word should be hyphenated. The Associated Press Stylebook states it is one word, while Merriam-Webster states it’s hyphenated. 
In this case, I would go with the dictionary, since a lot of AP Style deals with saving space and column inches. I’d use mash-up to describe a blendin…

Introducing Editing for Grammarphobes Digest

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Love all of the grammar hints of Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0, but don't have time to check the blog every week?
Sign up for EFG Digest, a monthly recap of all Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 blog posts in one convenient newsletter! 
EFG Digest will be delivered on the last day of each month starting with February. After you sign up, please add my email address, karen@karenberner.com, to your list of contacts, so your monthly EFG Digest doesn't end up in your spam folder. 







Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Valentine's Day Edition

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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

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 (…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Adds New 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

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 ac…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Lay, Lie, Lain

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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

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 Style. The 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 …

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Ready? Okay!

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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

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 Styleboo…