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Cinco de Mayo (the fifth of May) is not Mexico’s independence day, which is celebrated in September, but it is a celebration of freedom. It is a Mexican and Mexican-American celebration honoring the Mexican victory over the French at Puebla in 1862. Today, it has widened into a celebration of Mexican culture. Cinco de Mayo celebrations often include family and food, music and dancing, and the colors of the Mexican flag (green, white, and red).
English has borrowed a number of words from Spanish. Here are a few Cinco de Mayo–appropriate Spanish words that are now accepted as standard in English (no need to italicize these in English texts). Use the clues to determine the Spanish words, unscramble the letters in the X’d spaces to give you the final word, and then use any or...Read More »
Featured Topic: Punctuation
Get your Friday going with lessons in fixing comma splices and dealing with multiple sentence-ending punctuation, plus punctuation that’s moved into word status.
- “Editing Tip of the Week: Comma Splices”: What it is and how to fix it. (Expert Edge)
- “Punctuation Junction: Periods, Exclamation Points, and Question Marks”: What to do with multiple sentence-ending punctuation marks. (APA Style Blog)
- “A New Blog Post, Slash You Should Read This!”: (A Thing About Words)
InfoTrust Group is seeking a technical editor to join its team in Austin, Texas. InfoTrust Group provides documentation solutions and information management for the aerospace, automotive, defense, health-care, manufacturing, publishing, and tech industries.
The technical editor will edit and format technical manuals and training materials, ensuring adherence to client-specific styles and overall high quality.
This temporary-to-hire, onsite position requires an associate’s degree in English, journalism, or a related field or the equivalent of experience and training; at least one year of experience editing technical documentation; and experience editing in Word, Framemaker, XML/SGM, or Adobe Acrobat. The...Read More »
Featured Topic: Editorial Methods
We can all benefit from tips that helps us work more efficiently and effectively. Today’s News Roundup has three ideas for you.
- “Embracing Slow Time”: It’s so easy to interrupt an officemate with a question. Slow down and consider if it’s the best solution. (Signal vs. Noise)
- “HOW TO: Deal with Difficult Clients”: When we treat authors like clients, we can help diffuse difficult situations. (Inspired Mag)
- “Business of Editing: The Logistics of Large Projects”: How to you manage a large editing project, particularly among several...
May 1 is May Day, an ancient European and North American celebration of, well, quite a lot of things, including flowers, warm weather, and, in some countries, workers and the labor movement. Infoplease has a nice summary of the holidays that are observed on May 1, and Wordnik has an interesting read on May Day–related words.
May Day is different from mayday.
Mayday is an international distress call used since 1923. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it is “apparently an Englished spelling...Read More »
Featured Topic: Usage Problems
You’ve seen reflexive pronouns used as subject or object pronouns; should you stet them? Also in today’s News Roundup, we look at the usage of that vs. which and any more vs. anymore.
- “Reflections on Reflexives”: Perhaps reflexive pronouns can be used as subjects of a sentence. But is it effective? (Caxton)
- “That’s the Law”: Does the which have to have a tail? (Ten Minutes Past Deadline)
- “Any More, Anymore”: Quick guidance on when to use each form. (Sesquiotica)
Perhaps today’s abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, February’s unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, or the many undergraduate hours spent reading European history have skewed my understanding of the word abdication. I was surprised to learn recently that it was not originally associated with royalty or political office.
To abdicate is to renounce, relinquish, or formally and permanently resign an office, position, or responsibility.
Monarchs can abdicate their thrones. Politicians can abdicate their offices. Business owners and nonvoters...Read More »
Rich Adin recently published a blog post on the vagueness of about. When precision is wanted, he maintains, about isn’t going to cut it.
Adin points out that if you can use a precise date rather than “about 50 years ago,” you won’t make readers work hard for the meaning. His example:
About 50 years ago, John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
If your text has a long shelf life, as do the medical textbooks Adin edits, after a while “about 50 years ago” is going to be inaccurate. The second sentence eliminates that...Read More »
Featured Topic: The Business of Copyediting
We copyeditors are so focused on our jobs that we sometimes forget the business concerns of editing. Today, get some ideas for training, sprucing up your office, and easing financial concerns.
- “Co-Mentoring: Free CPD for Editorial Professionals”: Improve your skills by co-mentoring another editor. (Editing Mechanics)
- “Is Your Home Office Still Working For You?”: Three tips for refreshing your home office. (WorkingNaked.com)
- “How to Ease Financial Woes as a Freelancer”: Five ways to ease the financial worries of freelancing...
Featured Topic: Flexibility of Language
English is a wonderfully, frustratingly flexible language. Three articles that look at how far it can bend before it breaks.
- “(Not So) Tidy, (Not So) Little Boxes: Finding Parts of Speech”: So you think you know what a noun is, eh? (A Thing About Words)
- “Slipping Private Boundaries: How the Web Is Changing Language”: What editors should watch for and why it’s not all bad. (Yahoo News South Africa)
- “Let’s Retire the Word Bro”: When a term becomes empty, should you delete it?(New Republic)