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Suffixes on Jerseys are Just Plain Wrong

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


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?


I don’t know if you watch football, American football, that is, for my friends across the pond, but I’ve noticed something over the last few years that just drives me crazy…grammatically. 

The National Football League has it’s share of problems, and I don’t want you to think I take them lightly, but since this is Editing for Grammarphobes, today I only want to discuss one— suffixes on jerseys. 

Look around any football game, and you’ll most surely see a Jr. or a III sewn on after a player’s last name.

Does that look right to you?




It’s not. 

Suffixes like Jr.,Sr., and Roman numerals should not be on football or any sports jerseys. They are intended to differentiate the younger family member from the older. Since the older is not playing football on the team with his son, suffixes are n…

Me and I Are Not Interchangeable

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


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 ever written a sentence and thought it doesn’t look right? If you’re like me, it’s happened more times than you can count. Here are a few instances that might be the culprits. 


Me or I?

Most people know that I is a subject, as in the following example.

My husband and I went to the theater.

Pretty standard, right?

The problem comes when writing this kind of sentence.

Yes: If you have any problems, please let Linda or me know. 

Should it be Linda or I or Linda or me?

It’s definitely Linda or me. Why? If you reverse the structure of the sentence, using I makes no sense. 

No: Please let I know if you have any problems.

Yes: Please let me know if there are any problems.


e.g. or i.e.

Many people use the abbreviations of e.g. or i.e. as synonyms, but that’s not correct. An abbreviation for…

Part 3 of Avoiding Sticky Situations with Words that Begin with 'S'

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


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?




Do you know how to pluralize syllabus? I don't know. Syllabi?

Every year, I stumble over it when discussing the new school year with my kids.

Well, my friends, today that mystery is solved. And while we’re at it, let’s wrap up our three-part series on sticky situations that begin with the letter s.


State, state names

Lowercase the word state in all “state of” constructions, such as the state of Maine, the state of California.

Four states, according to the Associated Press Stylebook (AP), are legally commonwealths and not technically states. They are Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. However, this distinction usually is only used in formal circumstances, like when referring to court documents. For geographical references, using the word state is fine.

AP rec…

Avoiding Sticky Situations with Words that Begin with 'S': Part 2

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


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?





Welcome back to part two of my series on the letter s

Remember last week, I told you more words begin with s than any other letter? Here are more s words that could get you in sticky situations. Join me next Wednesday for the third and final installment.




Seven Seas

Can you name the Seven Seas? And, don’t forget to capitalize, as they are proper nouns.

Arabian Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and South China Sea.


Seven Wonders of the World

The Seven Wonders of the World (a capitalized phrase) are the Egyptian pyramids, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the statue of Zeus by Phidias at Olympia, and the Pharos, or lighthouse, at Alexandria. 


Sewage

According…

Avoiding Sticky Situations with Words that Begin with 'S'

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


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?







Did you know more English words begin with s than any other letter? 

Strengths and screeched are the two longest one-syllable words in English, according to grammar.com. The site also mentions that subcontinental is the only word that uses each vowel only once and in reverse alphabetical order. 


Here are some other words beginning with s that can cause some sticky situations. 


Salable

This adjective meaning “fit or able to be sold” does not have an e in the middle.


Sacrilegious

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) states sacrilegious is related to the word sacrilege, not to religion or religious. Some people have a tendency to switch the i and e on either side of the l, but that’s not correct.


Sandstorm

One word.


Scissors

Scissors is a noun that takes plural verbs and pronouns. 

Example from t…

James' Book or James's Book: Which is Correct?

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


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?



Hi Karen,

You may have already addressed this issue, and I apologize for missing it; however, how about the subject of possessives? Particularly in regards to those ending in the letter s and where the apostrophe goes. In other words, is it James’ book or James’s book? Thanks in advance.

Sincerely yours,
Nan Smith



Thanks for your question, Nan. It’s good to revisit this from time to time because editing styles change over the years. 

Let’s start with the easy stuff.

Singular nouns are made possessive by adding an apostrophe and an s.

Examples

dog's bowl
cat’s litter box

And we all know plural nouns not ending in s are made possessive by adding an apostrophe and an s.

Examples

women’s rights
children’s literature

Here’s where it gets more difficult. 

When making plural nouns ending in s poss…

And Now for a Brief Interruption...

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


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?





I'm taking the week off. Editing for Grammarphobes will return next  week with the definitive word on possessives.  See you then!