Did you spot the recent doozy of an anachronism in Downton Abbey? Also in Today’s News Roundup: five ways to pre-qualify clients; the problem grammar of academics; one place not to use singular they; and swang.
Will we start using themself … again? Also in today’s News Roundup: a social media schedule for freelancers, owning multiple dictionaries, pronoun antecedents, and how not to correct your author. Welcome to Wednesday, copyeditors!
GRAMMARHULK, one of a community of Hulk personas on Twitter and an even larger community of language lovers, has been delighting us with grammar, spelling, usage, and editing advice and observations for two and a half years.
WOW, IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG?
How did your puny human alter ego, a mild-mannered Manhattan editor, get into editing? How long have you been editing and for what sorts of materials?
Many copyeditors are more familiar with the term improvisation more so than extemporize. Improvisation comes up more during theatre when performers act out scenes without previously been given lines. Extemporize comes more from speech and debate when candidates are given a topic and then asked to speak freely without previous research. In reality, both of these words can be used the same way and can be interchangeable.
The Open Help Conference 2012 brought with it Warren Block, a contributor to FreeBSD. Block introduced igor, the Automating Documentation Proofreading tool. Any editor who has ever had to contend with a document with the same mistake throughout has surely wondered if there were a better way to automate the process outside of the Find and Replace method.
The arguments between prescriptivists and descriptivists have more value than just an ego boost. Also in today’s News Roundup: style points from WSJ, comparing access and assess, and the irregular verb wheel.
There is purpose in arguing about language—beyond just wanting to be right. Gary Gutting explains in “Arguing About Language.” (The Stone)
Sylvia Needel of Cazenovia College’s Office of Communications wrote to me last week about one of her pet peeves. She keeps seeing people that and companies who everywhere, and it drives her crazy. She asked if I would address the problem in a post, so here it is.