The creator of the AP vs. Chicago website has turned her attention to ways in which words include or exclude, marginalize or empower. Karen Yin has created Conscious Style Guide as “an online resource for kind, compassionate, and inclusive language.”
The words till and until appear in Middle English about 700 years ago. Till came first in Old Norse, where it was combined with und, which meant something like “as far as” or “up to.” Or "till." One can imagine Old Norse purists decrying the inherent redundancy of the word until, but the interchangeable till and until both worked their way into English.
The American Medical Writers Association has spent the past couple of years developing a certification for medical writers, and now it is possible to be “Medical Writer Certified.”
Certification comes with a $150 fee to apply and a $375 fee to take the exam. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and two years full time work or four years part-time work within the past five years in the field of medical writing. Two letters of reference are required.
In youth, my friends and I found the need to create a word for the practice of finding an obvious path up the side of a building and making an ascent, an activity that was rarely practiced but often spoken about. The word that sprung to mind was clabbing, close to climbing, emphasizing the b in building and possibly influenced by clambering.
Copyedited material is seen as more valuable and more trustworthy than that which is not copyedited. This seems obvious to anyone except visionary cost-cutters who see dedicated copyeditors as a wasteful layer in the process of connecting reporters and writers with their audiences.
We know better, and we have a little bit more evidence to prove it.
With National Grammar Day on Wednesday, there was much talk of peeves: things that irk us, perhaps excessively. If we accept the evolution of language, we try to keep our grammatical peeves to ourselves, but on National Grammar Day, it seems we are given license to admit those things that have the effect of nails on a chalkboard.
Almost certainly in your career, you have edited work that was not ready for prime time. Whether the draft was still very rough or the arguments weak and shaky, you knew the author skipped a step somewhere, because the text was just not ready for copyediting. It may have benefited from a more comprehensive service called “developmental editing” that is meant to help an author improve his or her manuscript in a holistic way, and which should precede the copyediting phase.
Dori Maynard, who died this week at 56, was a champion of diversity in newsrooms, and therefore a champion of diversity in the broader society. She reminded us that our backgrounds affect how we see the world. She taught us that words matter because we don’t own them, that other people may see the words we use in an entirely different light.
The Associated Press Stylebook suggests treating none as a singular pronoun when referring to the absence of individual people or things: “None of us is perfect.” That’s a style choice consistent with what many consider good writing, but there is little to suggest that “none of us are perfect” is any less valid a construction.