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Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Comics Edition

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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 about you, but I'm already maxed out, and it's only Wednesday. Between everything happening in the world, crazy weather in Chicagoland that feels more like Florida than Illinois, and an ever-growing to-do list, I need a little levity. So instead of our usual Editing for Grammarphobes, I present some fun grammar jokes guaranteed to bring a smile to your face (or at least a smirk). Enjoy. xx












EFG Digest


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Bio


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includ…

Let's Rock 'N' Roll, Baby

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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?




Since we had a brief musical interlude last week with citing songs and such, let’s finish up words and phrases that begin with the letter “R.”


Recur, recurred, recurring

These are the correct words, not reoccur.


Red-haired, redhead, redheaded

These words are correct ways to describe your favorite ginger. Red-haired is hyphenated, but redhead and redheaded aren’t.


Retweet

One word for retweet, the sharing of a tweet on Twitter.


Ride-sharing

This phrase to describe such companies as Uber and Lyft is hyphenated.


Rifle, riffle

The Associated Press Stylebook states, “to rifle is to plunder or steal,” whereas to riffle is “to leaf rapidly through a book or pile of papers.” A rifle, spelled with one “f,” also is a gun.


Rock ‘n’ roll

That’s the phrase, but the hall of fame’s name is the Rock …

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Musical Works

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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?




When I was in high school, the musical my senior year was to be Carousel, an interesting choice considering its secondary storyline of spousal abuse and crime, particularly the song, “What’s the Use of Wonderin’,” in which Julie Jordan seems to rationalize why her husband, Billy Bigelow, hits her. But he’s her feller, so you love him and that’s that, which certainly does not sit well with adult me.

Carousel debuted on Broadway in 1945, and just like other Rodgers and Hammerstein works, such as parts of South Pacific and The King and I, it is a product of its time period. Although I grew up singing show tunes, I have a hard time getting past some of the overtly racist and sexist songs and themes. Out of all the Rodgers and Hammerstein collaborations, I think The Sound of Music pro…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Arrrrrrrrrrgh

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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?



In honor seeing the latest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise last night, here are some tricky words and phrases that begin with the letter “R.” Also, for those of you who have subscriptions, the May issue of EFG Digest is out today. Look for it in your mailboxes.

Drink up, me hardies, yo ho!


Racket

Racket, not racquet, is the correct way to spell the name of the lightweight implement used in tennis and badminton. The word also can mean a confused clattering noise, clamor, a social whirl, or a fraudulent scheme.

However, when referring to the sport played on a four-walled court, it is racquetball.


Ramadan

Ramadan is the Muslim holy month marked by daily fasting from dawn until sunset. It ends with Eid al-Fitr. This year, Ramadan began on Friday and continues unti…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: You Mean It's Not...?

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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


Language is fluid. It evolves and changes as generations add their own words to the mix. Many people write like they speak, which causes trouble when certain statements have been uttered incorrectly. A word I have heard many people mispronounce is “acrost.” There is no such word as “acrost.” It is always across.




Watch out for these words or phrases in your writing.


Incorrect: Chester drawers.

Correct: Chest of drawers.


Chester drawers? Is he any relation to Chester Cheetah?


Incorrect: For all intensive purposes.

Correct: For all intents and purposes.


Incorrect: I could care less.

Correct: couldn’t care less.

I bet if you tried hard enough, you could care less. Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference reminds us to be sure to make it negative for it to be correct.



Incorrect: That’s a mute…

'Q' is for Quickie

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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




This week is all about the quickie, which is spelled with “ie,” not a “y.” Quickie can be a noun for "fast sex with little foreplay," or an adjective, as in “a quickie divorce.”

Here are some other words that begin with the letter “Q.”


Q&A

It’s okay to use Q&A (ampersand and no spaces) to describe a question-and-answer piece.


Queen

Only capitalize queen when it comes before the name of royalty, the Associated Press Stylebook states. Use the monarch’s full title on first reference, like Queen Elizabeth II. Use Queen Elizabeththe rest of the time.

The word should be lowercase when it stands alone.

When referring to two monarchs, capitalize and make it plural, as in Queens Elizabeth and Victoria.


Question whether; question of whether; question as to whether

The Chica…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Graduation 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 so many graduations taking place in May and early June, I thought we should discuss some of the words (and their difficult spellings!) associated with this rite of passage seeing as I won’t be in any emotional state to do it next year, when my youngest graduates high school. Just the thought of him walking across the stage to get his diploma brings a lump to my throat. 
Anyhow...
Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Commencement, graduation
We often hear commencement and graduation used as synonyms, so what’s the difference? Well, technically, graduation is the act of receiving a diploma or degree from a school, college, or university, while commencement is the ceremony during which degrees or diplomas are given to students who have graduated from school or college. 

Alumnus, alu…