Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Ready? Okay!

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?


Remember when people used to write, with a pen, I mean, as in penmanship? I was that dork who spent countless hours practicing getting my name just so. I haven’t thought about the physical act of cursive writing for awhile. Discussing the letter “K” this week brought back a wave of memories of fourth grade in Miss Alesh’s class, thick-lined paper, and practice, practice, practice, since I probably spent the most time on “K” and “W,” intertwining them into my own, self-designed monogram. I never said I was popular.

Anyhow, let’s see what’s up with words that begin with the letter “K.”


“K” is used in references to modem speed transmissions, as well as statistical references to kilometers, and to represent thousands in monetary amounts, according to the Associated Press Stylebook 2016.


George bought a 56K modem.

Barbara ran a 10K race.

Employee Jane Doe makes $50K. If she were a man doing the same job, she would earn 20% more.


A kibbutz is an Israeli collective settlement or commune. The plural is kibbutzim, AP notes.

Kriss Kringle

Now this is interesting. According to AP, this alternative name for Santa Claus is derived from the German word, “Christkindl,” or baby Jesus, not from another version of Kris or Chris. I’ve been spelling it wrong for my entire life! How about you?


K2 (no hyphen) is the world’s second-tallest mountain.


The Chinese Nationalist political party is called Kuomintang, but do not add the word “party” afterward. Tang means party so you would be saying the Chinese Nationalist party party.


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

The Associated Press Stylebook, 2016 edition
The Chicago Manual of Style
Strunk and White's The Elements of Style
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition
The Bugaboo Review: A lighthearted guide to exterminating confusion about words, spelling, and grammar


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.


R. Doug Wicker said…
Keep 'em comin', Karen.
Quanie Miller said…
Interesting tidbits here. Good reference list, too. I ordered The Elements of Style just the other day (for a penny!). It's one that always gets referenced so I've been meaning to add it to my library for quite sometime.
I only knew Kriss Kringle because I had a book listing all the Santas around the world. ;)
brenda said…
I prefer the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style. Ms, Hashway recommended it and now I always have a browser window open. I've never written out the salary of a character in a story, probably because I wasn't sure. :)

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