More Blog Posts
Happy National Grammar Day, everyone!
In our February–March newsletter, Grammar on the Edge columnist, Jonathon Owen, discusses the fact that there are two definitions of grammar: one that language professionals use and one laypeople use.
This sometimes happens with industry-related terms: within the industry, the term has a very specific meaning. But in the general language, the meaning is broader, no matter whether the term started in common or industry usage.
For example, in the medical field, critical means:
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Giant Creative Strategy is seeking an editor and assistant editor to join its team in San Francisco. Established in 2002, Giant is a healthcare advertising agency that specializes in creative development, branding, and positioning for biotech, medical device and diagnostic, and pharmaceutical companies.
The editor and associate editor will copyedit, fact-check, and proofread promotional materials, including complex medical text, through all stages of production; annotate layouts and references for FDA submission; develop and maintain style guides; and manage the editorial workload for clients [editor only].
These full-time positions require a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or a related field; 1 year [...Read More »
Whither the subjunctive? The subjunctive mood is what we use—what we sometimes use—when we are expressing what is possible, what we wish to be true or imagine to be true but is not. If it is true, the mood is not subjunctive.
The thing is, not everyone uses it, and most people are OK with ignoring it in casual writing. The subjunctive may be going the way of thou and thither and whence and whither.
Ellen Degeneres organized an Oscar-telecast selfie with a bunch of front-row celebrities, and she tweeted it, asking viewers to break the record for retweets. The photo soon broke a 16-month-old record set by President Obama when he tweeted a photo of himself with the first lady and the words “Four more years.”...Read More »
Update: The winner has been chosen and the answers have been posted. Thanks to all the participants!
What would National Grammar Day (Tuesday, March 4) be without fun contests and prizes? Mark Allen has the scoop on the tweeted haiku contest. And here’s everything you need to know to win a basic membership to Copyediting.com (includes a 12-month subscription to the Copyediting...Read More »
There is something safe about the simple form of haiku. Structure can give the poet freedom, a simple structure especially so. Free verse forces the writer to create the rhythm as well as the words. Haiku forces us into a familiar pattern, one that is fairly easy to exploit.
With March 4 around the corner, entries are growing in the National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest. Judges for the contest have been traditionally lenient about how they interpret haiku, and purists would say most of the entries don’t quite fit the Japanese form. Many of the entries are only sort of Haiku; they are closer to the variant senryu, but with a stricter adherence to the idea of five, seven and five syllables (from which entrants seem loath to depart). No matter. They are...Read More »
June Casagrande will be our #GrammarChat guest for National Grammar Day on Tuesday, March 4. June is the author of It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences and Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies. She writes and podcasts about grammar and language in the weekly syndicated column “A Word, Please” and at GrammarUnderground.com.
What path have you taken to get...Read More »
It’s unclear when or why the words tussle and tousle divided into different meanings. A tussle is a physical struggle that suggests shoving and pulling. When you mess up someone’s hair, the word is tousle. If you’ve tussled with police breaking up a language debate that got out of hand, your hair might end up tousled. The words are close cousins, but for some reason we have two spellings for similar concepts.
We’ve been tussling since at least the 16th century. The noun form of tussle came later. Tousled hair might have come earlier, but we’re probably talking about spelling variations on the same word. Both words are from touse, which means pull.
Samuel...Read More »
These are not the production steps, but the stages that each editor goes through when editing. I learned this at Jim Taylor’s workshop on Eight Step Editing, one of the most popular offerings of the Editors’ Association of Canada. These stages rang so true that I’ve had them posted on my wall for nearly two decades:
He was applying this to individual assignments, I think, but it may apply to one's whole professional career.
Those who have attained the status of “mature editor” may happily find themselves in the fourth stage, which I sometimes think of as “resignation” — wherein you just...Read More »
A friend asked me to settle a language debate argued countless times at bars everywhere: Is it party hardy or party hearty?
My short answer is anyone who writes party hardy is working too hard at it. You’re not chopping firewood or going for a walk in Minneapolis in February.
But the debate is far from settled. Either word makes sense for different reasons, and either has the better claim to rhyming correctly depending on how party is pronounced. For me, the later at night, the more likely for the t in party to be turned into a d sound.
Appetites are hearty; so is a jovial or energetic person. Hearty means full of heart, and we’ve been using...Read More »
Featured Topic: Editorial Methods
How we approach editing is as important as how well we edit. This week, we focus on the difference between rules and styles, the different types of quality, and some punchy alternatives for very.
- “Down with Centrism … I Don’t Write Like You (and Nor Does My Client)!”: Styles are not rules, and your author deserves some style variations. (The Proofreader’s Parlour)
- “In Search of Awesome: The 4 Types of Quality”: Are you ensuring only one kind of quality in manuscripts you edit? (DigitalRelevance)
- “45 Ways to Avoid Using the Word...