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Showing posts from February, 2017

Introducing Editing for Grammarphobes Digest

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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?


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…

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?

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 foodo…

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?


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 and lay down."


References