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Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Summer Fun

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POSTED BY KAREN WOJCIK BERNER







Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?


It is almost summertime in the United States, and the temperature is heating up in Chicagoland. But before it's time to hit the beach, let's talk about about some of the words associated with the season.


Summer

The word, summer, much like all of the seasonal names should not be capitalized unless the season is being personified, such as in poetry or a particularly lively piece of writing.

Examples

summer solstice
summer vacation
summer


Personification example

And Summer, with her sun beating down mercilessly and omnipresent mosquitoes...


Sunbathe

The word, sunbathe, should be one word, not split into two. This also goes for the verb forms of sunbathed and sunbathing.


Sun

When referring to the sun, keep it lowercase. The word is not a proper noun like other heavenly bodies, such a…

Who Couldn't Use a Few Laughs?

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POSTED BY KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?




I recently started a new freelance gig, and, unlike my previous two jobs, this one is solely editing. I'm still writing for Naperville magazine and a couple of other organizations, but I have to say, it feels good to be doing something a little different. Obviously editing is a large part of writing; some might say the most important part. But sometimes, it's nice to just edit someone else's words.

So, today I thought we would take a little break and have a few laughs. 

Enjoy!













I couldn't resist sneaking in this one for the classic lit bibliophile.





EFG Digest Love all the grammar tips, but don’t have time to check the blog every week? Subscribe to EFG Digest, a monthly recap of all of my Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 blog posts delivered to your inbox in one convenient…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: It's Academic

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POSTED BY KAREN WOJCIK BERNER

Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?





Graduation season is almost upon us. The first universities will bestow degrees upon their seniors this weekend and will keep going well into June.

But, how does one cite academic degrees and honors? What about the terms for academic years? Capitalized or not? And what's to be done with honorary degrees?

Before we tackle those questions, let's talk about high school.

The words for the four years of high school and college—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior—should be lowercased.

Examples

Joe Smith is a junior in high school.

Susie Jones completed her freshman year at Northwestern University.

When academic degrees are referred to in general terms, they should not be capitalized. Remember to use an apostrophe for bachelor’s and master’s.

Examples

Bob has a master’s degree i…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Subtle Differences

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?






Today, we’re going to discuss words that basically mean the same, but have subtle differences, like repellent and repulsive or contagious and infectious. These slight distinctions can elevate the quality of your writing.


Contagious, infectious

Contagious and infectious both basically describe a disease that is communicable, according to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). However, it notes that a “contagious disease spreads by direct contact with an infected person or animal,” while “an infectious disease is spread by germs on a contaminated object or element.”

Partly, partially

CMS explains that both “convey the sense ‘to some extent; in part,” such as in the phrase “partly responsible.” Partially “has the additional senses of ‘incompletely,’ as in 'partially cooked' and ‘u…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Was or Were?

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Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER




Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?




“If I was...” or “If I were...” 

Which is correct?

After doing some research, I found it is a matter of subjunctive versus indicative mood. 

The subjunctive is used to express wishful thinking. 

The indicative should be used for statements of fact.


Example 

If I were president, I would invest in infrastructure.


If you have a hard time remembering this, think of “If I Were a Rich Man,” the famous song from the musical Fiddler on the Roof
Handy, right?


EFG Digest
Love all the grammar tips, but don’t have time to check the blog every week? Subscribe to EFG Digest, a monthly recap of all of my Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 blog posts delivered to your inbox in one convenient newsletter. Click here to sign up.


References

These books are on my desk at all times. Maybe they'll help you as wel…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: V, Not Just for Vendetta

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POSTED BY  KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?





Although it is a great movie, the letter, V, covers so much more than just the word vendetta.

It’s been a bit since we’ve done one of our individual letters of the alphabet days, so today, let’s talk about words that begin with the letter, V.



Vacuum

One of the red-flag words, vacuum has a double u in the middle.


Valley

Although not hard to spell at all, you might be interested to know it should be capitalized only as part of a full name, such as Mississippi Valley. The Associated Press Stylebook (AP) recommends to lowercase it in plural uses, like the Missouri and Mississippi valleys.


V-E Day, V-J Day

Get these two days mixed up? You’re not the only one.

V-E Day is May 8, 1945, the day the surrender of Germany was announced officially ending the European phase of World War II, acco…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Adventures in Punditry

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POSTED BY  KAREN WOJCIK BERNER


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?








Here are some words thrown around by TV political pundits and the comedians who mock them. All definitions are taken from the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, and Dictionary.com. No matter what you are writing, it's important not to use the correct terms when referring to economic systems. 


Plutocracy 

This word means “government by the wealthy” or a “controlling class of the wealthy.” It also can mean a group of people exercising power or influence by virtue of its wealth.


Oligarchy

Slightly different from plutocracy, an oligarchy is a government in which a small group exercises control and has all of the power. Government by the few rather than the majority. Webster adds this small group usually wields their power for selfish and corrupt purposes.


Capi…