Editing for Grammarphobes: Islam


Today’s topic deals with words I have heard used incorrectly multiple times in conversations. We owe it to the more than 1.2 billion Muslims around the world to get this right.

The major world religion founded by Muhammad is Islam. People who follow Islam are called Muslims. “Muslim” is not a religion. There is no such thing as “Muslimism” and no people called “Islamites.”

The adjective version of Islam is Islamic, but Islamic should not be used when referring to the followers of Islam. The proper word is Muslim.

The sacred scripture of Islam, the Quran, is in Arabic.

Although Arabic is the language of the holy book and prayers, not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. 

EFG Digest
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These books are on my desk at all times. Maybe they'll help you as well.

The Associated Press Stylebook, 2017 edition
The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition
Strunk and White's The Elements of Style
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition


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 the Bibliophiles series, contemporary fiction with a sprinkling of the classics, and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.


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