Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: What the H...?

Graphic courtesy of Irregular Webcomic.

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?


This week, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 explores various grammar and word issues that begin with the letter “H.” And please remember "an" before the word historic. It's not a historic (fill in the rest of the sentence), it's an historic (fill in the rest of the sentence). Grammar lovers everywhere thank you.


Hangar refers to airplane hangars, while hanger spelled with an “e” is the word for clothes hangers.


Always a tricky one, hanged is the “past participle of hang only in its transitive form when referring to the killing of a human being by suspending the person by the neck,” according to the Chicago Manual of Style. However, if the death is not intended or likely, or if the person is suspended by a body part other than the neck, CMS goes on to state, hung is correct. One thing is definitely clear, though. CMS states all inanimate objects are hung, such as pictures or Christmas stockings. 

Home in

Yes, that is the correct phrase. Although frequently mistaken as “hone in,” home in refers to what homing pigeons do, getting closer to the target, CMS notes. Besides, hone means to sharpen, so it doesn’t really work in this circumstance.


CMS states a hoard is a “supply, usually secret and often valuable.” It can also be a verb meaning “to amass.” Horde is a large crowd, although you might be familiar with the word from its historical reference of The Golden Horde, the western part of the Mongol empire, which flourished from the mid-13th century to the end of the 14th century.


Literally means “in a hopeful manner,” but that archaic definition seems long gone, as more and more the newer meaning of “I hope” is used, much to the bane of many a grammar nazi.


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.


These are great examples we don't see often. Thanks for sharing.
Anonymous said…
I knew that dragons hoard gold, but I didn't know that the word can also be a noun.
Chrys Fey said…
So many people can get tripped up on those.

Happy Thanksgiving, Karen!

Popular posts from this blog

One Word or Two? Or Is It Hyphenated?

Common Abbreviations and What They Mean

Five Fun Facts About Ralph Waldo Emerson