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Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Redundancies

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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




Redundancies. They clog our writing, weighing it down in unnecessary muck, much like what triple cheeseburgers with bacon and mayonnaise do to our arteries.

Here is a great list from a fantastic book, The Bugaboo Review, by Sue Sommer.

Watch out for the following duplicate phrases.

advance planning
and also
burn up
close down
down below
8:00 p.m. at night
fall down
free gift
funeral service
Jewish rabbi
lie down
lift up
my own personal opinion
owns his own home
raise up
refer back
staple together
use it all up


I especially like "Jewish rabbi." What other kind is there?


EFG Digest

Love all the grammar tips, but don’t have time to check the blog every week? Subscribe to EFG Digest, a monthly recap of all of my Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 blog posts delivered to your i…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The Heat is On

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POSTED BY KAREN WOJCIK BERNER
_________________________________________________________________________________
**Smashwords Summer Sale**
For the entire month of July, all three of my novels are available for FREE  at Smashwords. You can download A Whisper to a Scream, Until My Soul Gets It Right,  and A Groovy Kind of Love now by clicking here_________________________________________________________________________________
Ah, summer, the season I eagerly anticipate, then complain incessantly about. The temperatures are rising in Chicagoland, and, unfortunately, so is the humidity level, condemning me to countless days of unreliable, frizzy hair and a perpetual state of sticky malaise.

But, what about the words associated with the season?

Summer

The word, summer, much like all of the seasonal names should not be capitalized unless the season is being personified, such as in poetry or a particularly lively piece of writing.

Examples

summer solstice
summer vacation
summer

Personification E…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The Finer Things

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Posted byKAREN 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?




There are countless words relating to food in the English language. So many, in fact, that AP Style has an entire section devoted to it. Often, spelling is the most difficult part to remember, but I’ve also found a few issues that deal with categorizations as well.



Appetizers or hors d’oeuvres?

Although used interchangeably, there actually is a difference. Although it literally means “out of work,” hors d’oeuvres means “outside the meal” and refers to one-bite items that are served separately and before the meal, such as canapes, crudites, or bruschetta. Appetizers are served as the first course when seated at the table and are generally larger. They should also complement the entree.


Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France only. If made anywhere …

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: To Independence

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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?




Years ago, the 4th of July holiday meant backyard barbecues with family friends who also had kids around the same ages as mine. Laughter floated above the chorus of adult conversation as the kids ran in and out of our blow-up swimming pool, filling their water guns, readying for their battles. The night ended with writing their names in the sky with sparklers and cuddling close with their mothers as fireworks burst colors across the sky.

Today, all of the kids who once frolicked in our backyard are preparing for adulthood. Some have begun their careers. Others are choosing which college to attend.

So, grab a glass of lemonade, or something stronger, and let’s toast to Independence Day.


Barbecue

Yes, that’s the proper spelling, according to the Associated Press Stylebook. Althoug…

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…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: 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…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Did You Know...?

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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




Today’s topic can trip up even the most learned of the grammar lovers. Here are some troublesome word pairings I’ve collected throughout the years. 


Aggravate, irritate

Strunk and White's The Elements of Style states aggravate means “to add to an already troublesome or vexing matter or condition.”
Irritate is to annoy or chafe.


Allusion, illusion

An allusion is an indirect reference.

An illusion is an unreal image or false impression, according to Strunk and White.


Critical, crucial

According to Webster, crucial is “important or essential as resolving a crisis, decisive.”
Critical means “being at a turning point or specially important juncture” or “relating to an illness or condition involving danger of death.”
They are not synonyms. Critical bumps it up a notch. The something y…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Phlox, Peonies, and other 'P' 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






Spring is in full bloom in Chicagoland. After a few days in a row of blue skies and temperatures in the 70s, I must admit, I’m almost giddy. My husband and I have frozen at every lacrosse game, save one, thus far, so this is a welcome reprieve.

All of this lovely weather has me thinking about flowers. Last week, we tackled peak, peek, and pique, among other things, so I thought before launching in on the rest of the words that begin with the letter ‘P,’ I’d mention a couple of flower names that can be tricky sometimes with their unusual spellings. Phlox begins with “ph,” not “f,” and peony has an “o” in the middle, even though it’s usually pronounced “pee-knee,” which is incorrect.

Here are some other tricky words that start with “P.”


Penultimate

Penultimate means “the next to la…

Quite a Literary Day

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Happy World Book and Copyright Day!

Organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Book Day began as a day to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. It was first celebrated on April 23, 1995.

Many events are taking place today, including Amazon’s celebration of reading. It’s also a good day to donate to your favorite literacy organization or just to curl up in your favorite reading chair with a good book.

There also is a Twitter hashtag — #LoveToRead —where social media bibliophiles can share their passions.

Coincidentally, April 23 is both William Shakespeare’s birthday and death day. If you’ve been a long-time reader of Bibliophilic Blather, you know how much I love Shakespeare. I’ve written about the Ten Things I Love About Shakespeare, wished him a happy 450th birthday, gone to him when I was weary, literally visited him in Stratford, and discussed how novelists can learn from playwrights. So, c…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The Letter 'P'

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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



We resume our alphabetical study this week with words that begin with the letter “P.” Surprisingly, there are quite a few important spellings and clarifications in this category, so I’ll do a second part next week.

Pair

Pair is the singular form of the word, despite, as the Chicago Manual of Style notes, “the inherent sense of twoness.” The plural is pairs.

Example

Joe bought three pairs of shoes at the outlet mall. 


Parallel, paralleled, paralleling

All three have a double “l” in the middle, something I seldom remember and constantly have to look up.


Peacemaker, peacemaking

One word for both peacemaker and peacemaking.


Peak, peek, pique

A peak is an apex, according to CMS. The word for a quick or illicit glance is peek. Pique has two meanings, the first being to annoy or arouse, as i…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Can and May

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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




Do you remember being in elementary school and having to use the facilities? Making your way up to the teacher’s desk after waiting too long to begin with, crossing your legs in a futile attempt to stave off what could only be described as certain humiliation?

“Can I have the girls’ bathroom pass?”

The teacher looks up blankly at you. “I suppose you could.” And then goes back to grading papers without handing you anything.

You hop from foot to foot, pee pee dancing in utter disbelief.

The teacher sighs and puts down her red pen. “May I help you?”

Finally, the lightbulb goes on. “May I have the girls’ bathroom pass?”

“Yes, of course, dear.”

You rip the pass out of her hand and sprint down the hall.

It was an infuriating, but effective way to learn the difference between “can” an…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Spring Sports 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 the baseball season beginning this week, the Masters Tournament this upcoming weekend, and my son’s high school lacrosse game tonight (Go Huskies!), I thought I’d cover some basic spring sports words today. Regardless of if you are into sports or not, everyone should have at least a basic understanding and know some of the terms.




Baseball

Ballclub, ballpark, ballplayer 

These are all one word. The exception is ball game, which is two words according to Merriam-Webster.com. The Associated Press Stylebook 2016 has it as one word, ballgame, so make a note of that depending for what or where you are writing.

Baseline

Baseline (one word, no hyphen) is the term for the lines on a baseball field (or diamond) that lead from home plate to first base and third base and are extended int…