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Showing posts from May, 2017

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…