More Blog Posts
Today’s News Roundup teaches you how to fix dangling modifiers, demonstrates proper usage of got, and discovers what we don’t know about usage guides.
- “Having Started This Post, An Idea Struck Me”: Those dangling modifiers hurt! How to spot them and how to fix them. (Madam Grammar)
- “Have Got”: It’s terrible! It’s horrible! It’s … correct? (Grammar Underground)
- “What Makes a Usage Guide? (Part 2)”: Do we know what a usage guide is for? (Bridging the Unbridgeable)
Is that a dash or a minus sign? (– or −) A superscript o or a true degree symbol? (o or °) Can you tell? Sometimes the font is revealing because the characters can look drastically different; usually they do not. (You may see a clear difference here, depending on your browser's font settings.) Sometimes, it matters which character is being used.
Word's "reveal formatting" function will tell you what font the character is in and about the line formatting, but not much else (see the screen shot below). In this post, I present a couple of macros that will tell you what a character is: one reveals the ASCII code and the other reveals the Unicode.
To use the macros, copy the code (from “sub” to “end sub”) and paste it into the VBA in Word. Then,...Read More »
Developed by renowned word-player and Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, doublets are a word pair linked by a chain of words formed by changing only one letter at a time. For Carroll, the object was to get from the first word to the last using the shortest possible chain of words in between. Carroll’s 1879 Doublets: A Word-Puzzle is available as a free Google eBook.
Our doublets don’t always strive for the shortest chain, but today’s theme motivated me to be expeditious. With summer-vacation season in full swing, our doublets game takes us from steady hard work to recreation in just five short steps.
To solve the doublets puzzle, use the first clue to solve the first four-letter word. For the...Read More »
It’s unlikely that copyeditors and and other word lovers escaped the release this week of Word Crimes, a grammar lesson in the form of a comedy song and video by “Weird Al” Yankovic. It showed up dozens of times in my Twitter stream. I was tagged on Facebook, got links through email discussion groups and read about it on LinkedIn. Several people suggested Weird Al ought to be invited to deliver the keynote address at an American Copy Editors Society conference.
The song is catchy parody of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines with much better lyrics and video. Still, Word Crimes leaves me and other copyeditors a bit uncomfortable. It’s too easy...Read More »
I don’t casually browse dictionaries as often as I once did, but I’m still thrilled at moment of serendipity, when the dictionary yields a new word and distracts me from what I was supposed to be doing.
Today, I discovered wordhoard, a store of words and, therefore, the vocabulary of a person, group of people or an entire language. It may be an obvious compound, but it existed (without the a) in Old English.
The Metres of Boethius, a ninth-century translation of the work of a sixth-century Roman statesman, speaks of the personification of wisdom unlocking her wordhord. According to the blog of the Twitter account,...Read More »
In today’s News Roundup: understanding your freelance paycheck, transition from full-time work to freelancing, and setting up Twitter to market your business.
- “The Freelancer’s Paycheck”: “Don’t water your weeds,” and other words of wisdom. (Rosa Sophia)
- “5 Tips for Transitioning from Moonlighting to Full-Time Freelancing”: Organize your finances, and four more tips to follow before jumping ship. (Freelancers Union Blog)
- “Using Twitter for Your Business”: How to set up your profile and choose the best folks to follow. (LibroEditing)
“Sexist language, stereotypes and references have no more place in sports pages than in any other part of the newspaper.” So says The Canadian Press Stylebook (CP16). Eliminating gender bias from all word use may be a tall order, but CP16 offers the following guidance:
- The most competitive, exciting race deserves the lead—and that’s not always the men’s event.
- Female athletes are no more ladies than males are gentlemen.
- Prefer police officer or constable, firefighter, mail carrier, and flight attendant over the gender-linked terms.
- Avoid feminine variants of terms unless a substitute sounds false. Fisher and fishing...
There’s a new grammar/language parody in town and editors are hitting “share” and “retweet” at near-record speeds.*
Pop culture and copyediting matters rarely intersect. When they do, they tend to register large on our radar. Some are particularly helpful and have surprising staying power. Hyperbole and a Half’s “Alot” hit the web more than four years ago, and I’m happy that people are still discovering it. I’m not sure whether...Read More »
Over at An American Editor, several editors, myself included, have been discussing whether there’s need for certifying copyediting professionals in the United States. Last week, Rich Adin brought up the absence of ethical standards specific to all copyeditors.
Certainly, every professional should follow some basic ethics that guide us toward treating others fairly and with respect...Read More »
We look at some big publishing questions in today’s News Roundup: Why are fraudulent authors allowed to keep publishing? What’s the problem with extending copyright protection? And why are university press books so expensive?
- “Trust But Verify -- Identity Fraud and Exploitation of the Trust Economy in Scholarly Publishing”: Scholarly publishing lacks a system to discover identity fraud, nor is there a system for punishing offenders. (The Scholarly Kitchen)
- “TPP Experts Briefing: Informing TPP Negotiators of the Threats of Expanded Copyright Restrictions”: TPP Negotiators heard public input on expanding copyright protection by 20 years. (Electronic...