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Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Split Infinitives

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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 are going to explore a gray area in grammar, one that has some uses that are clearly wrong, as well as others that could go either way.

Split infinitives break up a compound verb, usually by inserting an adverb in between.

Examples

She had to quickly leave.

The preferred sentence would read as follows:

She had to leave quickly.

The Associate Press Stylebook states, “In general, avoid awkward constructions that split infinitive forms of a verb (to leave, to help, etc.) or compound forms (had left, are found out, etc.)” It gives the following example.

“Awkward: She was ordered to immediately leave on an assignment.

Preferred: She was ordered to leave immediately leave on an assignment.” 


Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style also cautions writers to avoid it unless they want t…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Redundancies

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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?
Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER




Redundancies. They clog our writing, weighing it down in unnecessary muck, much like what triple cheeseburgers with bacon and mayonnaise do to our arteries.

Here is a great list from a fantastic book, The Bugaboo Review, by Sue Sommer.

Watch out for the following duplicate phrases.

advance planning
and also
burn up
close down
down below
8:00 p.m. at night
fall down
free gift
funeral service
Jewish rabbi
lie down
lift up
my own personal opinion
owns his own home
raise up
refer back
staple together
use it all up


I especially like "Jewish rabbi." What other kind is there?


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Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The Heat is On

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POSTED BY KAREN WOJCIK BERNER
_________________________________________________________________________________
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For the entire month of July, all three of my novels are available for FREE  at Smashwords. You can download A Whisper to a Scream, Until My Soul Gets It Right,  and A Groovy Kind of Love now by clicking here_________________________________________________________________________________
Ah, summer, the season I eagerly anticipate, then complain incessantly about. The temperatures are rising in Chicagoland, and, unfortunately, so is the humidity level, condemning me to countless days of unreliable, frizzy hair and a perpetual state of sticky malaise.

But, what about 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 E…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: The Finer Things

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Posted byKAREN 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?




There are countless words relating to food in the English language. So many, in fact, that AP Style has an entire section devoted to it. Often, spelling is the most difficult part to remember, but I’ve also found a few issues that deal with categorizations as well.



Appetizers or hors d’oeuvres?

Although used interchangeably, there actually is a difference. Although it literally means “out of work,” hors d’oeuvres means “outside the meal” and refers to one-bite items that are served separately and before the meal, such as canapes, crudites, or bruschetta. Appetizers are served as the first course when seated at the table and are generally larger. They should also complement the entree.


Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France only. If made anywhere …

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: To Independence

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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?




Years ago, the 4th of July holiday meant backyard barbecues with family friends who also had kids around the same ages as mine. Laughter floated above the chorus of adult conversation as the kids ran in and out of our blow-up swimming pool, filling their water guns, readying for their battles. The night ended with writing their names in the sky with sparklers and cuddling close with their mothers as fireworks burst colors across the sky.

Today, all of the kids who once frolicked in our backyard are preparing for adulthood. Some have begun their careers. Others are choosing which college to attend.

So, grab a glass of lemonade, or something stronger, and let’s toast to Independence Day.


Barbecue

Yes, that’s the proper spelling, according to the Associated Press Stylebook. Althoug…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Comics Edition

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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 don't know about you, but I'm already maxed out, and it's only Wednesday. Between everything happening in the world, crazy weather in Chicagoland that feels more like Florida than Illinois, and an ever-growing to-do list, I need a little levity. So instead of our usual Editing for Grammarphobes, I present some fun grammar jokes guaranteed to bring a smile to your face (or at least a smirk). Enjoy. xx












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Bio


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includ…

Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Let's Rock 'N' Roll, Baby

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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?





Since we had a brief musical interlude last week with citing songs and such, let’s finish up words and phrases that begin with the letter “R.”


Recur, recurred, recurring

These are the correct words, not reoccur.


Red-haired, redhead, redheaded

These words are correct ways to describe your favorite ginger. Red-haired is hyphenated, but redhead and redheaded aren’t.


Retweet

One word for retweet, the sharing of a tweet on Twitter.


Ride-sharing

This phrase to describe such companies as Uber and Lyft is hyphenated.


Rifle, riffle

The Associated Press Stylebook states, “to rifle is to plunder or steal,” whereas to riffle is “to leaf rapidly through a book or pile of papers.” A rifle, spelled with one “f,” also is a gun.


Rock ‘n’ roll

That’s the phrase, but the hall of fame’s name is the Rock …