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Showing posts from October, 2017

Things That Go Bump in the Night

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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?



Halloween is a huge deal in my family. We decorate the entire house, both inside and out. My husband is a master character maker. Here are a few of his creations that adorn our front yard.





Ours is the house where the kids start their trick or treating excursions. Last year, we had over 200 kids ring our doorbell, from sweet little toddlers to “let’s do this while we can” teenagers. It’s great fun. 

This week in Editing for Grammarphobes, I thought I’d take a stab at luring you to the dark side as we discuss some Halloween myths and the true stories behind them.




Do vampire bats really exist?

The San Diego Zoo has a fascinating web page about bats. Did you know that “out of nearly 1,000 bat species, only three feed on blood, and it is usually that of cattle?” The site also states that,…

Suffixes on Jerseys are Just Plain Wrong

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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 if you watch football, American football, that is, for my friends across the pond, but I’ve noticed something over the last few years that just drives me crazy…grammatically. 

The National Football League has it’s share of problems, and I don’t want you to think I take them lightly, but since this is Editing for Grammarphobes, today I only want to discuss one— suffixes on jerseys. 

Look around any football game, and you’ll most surely see a Jr. or a III sewn on after a player’s last name.

Does that look right to you?




It’s not. 

Suffixes like Jr.,Sr., and Roman numerals should not be on football or any sports jerseys. They are intended to differentiate the younger family member from the older. Since the older is not playing football on the team with his son, suffixes are n…

Me and I Are Not Interchangeable

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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?





Have you ever written a sentence and thought it doesn’t look right? If you’re like me, it’s happened more times than you can count. Here are a few instances that might be the culprits. 


Me or I?

Most people know that I is a subject, as in the following example.

My husband and I went to the theater.

Pretty standard, right?

The problem comes when writing this kind of sentence.

Yes: If you have any problems, please let Linda or me know. 

Should it be Linda or I or Linda or me?

It’s definitely Linda or me. Why? If you reverse the structure of the sentence, using I makes no sense. 

No: Please let I know if you have any problems.

Yes: Please let me know if there are any problems.


e.g. or i.e.

Many people use the abbreviations of e.g. or i.e. as synonyms, but that’s not correct. An abbreviation for…

Part 3 of Avoiding Sticky Situations with Words that Begin with 'S'

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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?




Do you know how to pluralize syllabus? I don't know. Syllabi?

Every year, I stumble over it when discussing the new school year with my kids.

Well, my friends, today that mystery is solved. And while we’re at it, let’s wrap up our three-part series on sticky situations that begin with the letter s.


State, state names

Lowercase the word state in all “state of” constructions, such as the state of Maine, the state of California.

Four states, according to the Associated Press Stylebook (AP), are legally commonwealths and not technically states. They are Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. However, this distinction usually is only used in formal circumstances, like when referring to court documents. For geographical references, using the word state is fine.

AP rec…