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Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: End of the Year Quickie—Gross vs. Net

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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?






Let's close out 2017 with one Editing for Grammarphobes quickie, shall we?

Since tax time is just around the corner, do you know the difference between gross and net?

Gross income is the amount of salary or wages paid to an individual by an employer before any deductions are taken out.

Net income is the residual amount of earnings after all expenses have been deducted.

Thank you all for spending time with me this year. I have known many of you through this blog since its inception in 2010. Can you believe it? I truly treasure you all. It's nice to know you have friends all over the world.

Thank you to my new EFG Digest subscribers. It's been an exciting year expanding Editing for Grammarphobes and sharing grammar facts with you. I'm so glad you're a part of the …

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: What's the Origin of 'Xmas?'

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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?




With Christmas only five days away, I thought we’d discuss some words and phrases associated with the holiday and the origins behind them.



Christmastime

The Associated Press Stylebook 2016 (AP) states Christmastime should be all one word.


Christmas tree

AP suggests to lowercase the word tree and other seasonal terms paired with Christmas, including Christmas card, Christmas wreath, and Christmas carol. The exception is the National Christmas Tree. Why? Probably because it's an official title. That's my guess.


Reindeer

Reindeer is both a singular and plural word. Every time someone uses reindeers, an angel loses its wings. Just kidding. But seriously, don’t do it.


Magi

According to the Bible, the Magi are the wise men who visited baby Jesus. This visit is commemorated by Chri…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Can You Name All Seven Jewish Holy Days?

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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 are in the midst of Hanukkah, I thought it would be a great time to feature some Jewish words and terms on Editing for Grammarphobes today. 



Judaism

According to the Associated Press Stylebook 2016 (AP), "Jews believe the divine kingdom will be established on Earth, opening a messianic era that will be marked with peace and bliss. They believe they have a mandate from God to work toward the kingdom.”

The spiritual leader of the synagogue (house of worship) is called a rabbi. The cantor leads the congregation in song. AP states these titles should be capitalized before an individual’s full name on first reference. On second reference, use only the last name.

There are no synods, assemblies, or hierarchies in Judaism. Each individual synagogue is autonomous. 

There are, ho…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: How Many Cupcakes in a Baker’s Dozen?

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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?







The holiday season ushers in a flurry of activity—decorating, parties, shopping—but it wouldn’t be complete without the scent of something baking in the oven. So, today I thought we could tackle some baking words on Editing for Grammarphobes. 

For example, do you know the difference between a macaron and a macaroon?

Whether you are a food writer or not, you never know when you’ll need these words in a story, an article, or even an email.


All-purpose flour 

The name for general white, wheat flour that can be used for most baking.


Baker’s dozen

A baker’s dozen contains 13 items, not 12. 

According to Mental Floss, this custom dates back to the 13th century, when British bakers were “notorious for shorting customers with skimpy loaves. King Henry III was so irked by the problem that he imp…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: That Versus Which

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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?







Recently, I went to a mini-reunion of college friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen in more than thirty years. Three of us, all English majors, work in publishing and have been lucky enough to do so for many years. 

We either are editors presently or have been at one point or another, so I couldn’t resist asking what grammar pet peeves drive them crazy. Typical to my one friend, she had a few minor irritations, but nothing irked her too much. 

For my other friend, it was quite different. 

“That or which. My god, it drives me crazy. Just learn the rule, memorize it, and be done with it.”

For the sanity of my dear English major friends and editors everywhere, here is the rule for that versus which in American prose.

That vs. Which

According to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), both that an…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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These are my goals for tomorrow's Thanksgiving holiday. 
Thank you so much for spending time with me this year. I am truly grateful for each of you.  
Editing for Grammarphobes will return next week.
Cheers, friends.
Karen

Editing for Grammarphobes: Exceptions

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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 before E, except after Cis probably the most famous spelling rule in the English language. We all can recite it, usually in the sing-song, child-like way we learned it, but do you remember the exceptions?

Yes, neighbor and weigh, which sometimes are added at the end of the mnemonic device. 

Any others?

Well, as it turns out, there are many. I found an article by Bob Cunningham, “Exceptions to the rule ‘I before E except after C,’” on the alt.usage.english newsgroup website years back. Here are some of the words Cunningham mentioned.

beige
heinous
veil
vein
weight
codeine
conscience
foreign
heir
weird

Rules are interesting, aren’t they? As soon as one is formalized, there is always an exception.


EFG Digest

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Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Titillating Grammar Facts About Words that Start with ’T’

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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?


Getting back to our alphabetical listing of grammar issues, today we discuss words that begin with the letter t.

It’s been a few weeks since I covered “Avoiding Sticky Situations with Words that Begin with 'S.'” (Click here, here, and here for that three-part series.)

While t doesn’t have quite as many grammar issues, there are definitely enough for two blog posts.

Let’s begin, shall we?



Tantalizing, titillating

According to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), something that is tantalizing “torments us because we want it badly, and it is always out of reach.” If something is titillating, it “tickles us pleasantly, literally or figuratively.”


Thankfully

"...traditionally means 'appreciatively; gratefully,'" CMS cites. It's not a substitute for thank goo…

'Very Fine and Moving Reads'

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER

This week, I received such a wonderful review of all three Bibliophiles books, I just had to share. My thanks to Beverly George for her kind words.






I’ve read the trilogy of books written by Karen Wojcik Berner, and I so enjoyed the women I met in her book club, the Bibliophiles, that I’ve bought her Christmas story, "A Bibliophile Christmas," as well, but I’m saving it for the day after Thanksgiving.

I’ve read my share of books about the relationships between female characters and their ties with their families, their friends, their jobs, their aspirations, and their self-realization. However, I found the women I met in Berner’s book club as more real, more like my own friends, because in “real life,” the endings aren’t always resolved the way we anticipate or hope for. Instead, we change or are changed, we resolve and adapt, we reset our goals, and happily or not, we move on. That’s the formula that makes Berner’s books very fine and moving read…