Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Introducing Editing for Grammarphobes Digest



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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.