The next issue of Copyediting newsletter is due out in a few days. The issue didn’t raise a lot of debate, as some past issues have. One debate we did have was whether the adjective alternate could be used to mean “alternative; referring to a choice.”
From The Business of Copyediting article:
If you prefer an alternate/alternative spelling, you may be able to secure it a spot in your style sheet.
The American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year (WOTY) for 2013 was prepositional because, also known as because noun and because + noun. If you’ve been paying attention to online trends, you’ve likely seen it:
But Iowa still wants to sell eggs to California, because money.—Daily Kos (July 14, 2012)
When a word is hyphenated across lines of text, the break traditionally comes at a syllable boundary. Most dictionaries indicate these breaks with a symbol, usually a boldface, centered bullet (•). This symbol indicates potential break points: some dictionaries show all syllable breaks; others show only those allowed by conventional style standards. (For example, most style guides dictate that a single letter cannot be stranded.)
Like many other slightly archaic bits of grammar, the subjunctive mood causes undue consternation. Usage commentators have been decrying the misuse of the subjunctive and mourning its imminent loss for nearly three centuries. Many have predicted that it would vanish within another generation or so, yet it soldiers on.
Slate, long one of the best online magazines, recently staked its claim as a go-to site for language news and analysis with the blog Lexicon Valley. The word-focused blog features some of the most respected and readable word experts around, such as Mark Liberman, James Harbeck, and Ben Zimmer. It’s become a top online destination for word mavens.
In today’s News Roundup, I answer some practical usage questions in an ACES chat, Copyediting contributor Jonathon Owen considers what makes a word a word, and past Copyediting instructor Constance Hale talks about phrasal verbs.