Archive for April, 2013

Reader’s Question: Writing Business Names

April 30, 2013

“How does one express a business name in fiction…in italics, quotes or just plain with capital letters?”

Thanks for your question, Judith!

Business names are treated the same as a person’s name: initial caps. If the name includes unique capitalization or characters, reproduce them as accurately as possible: iPad, UPS, FedEx, Yahoo! and so on.

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free estimate and sample edit!

Wanted: Second Set of Eyes

April 30, 2013

Wanted: Second Set of Eyes

Sunday Funnies

April 28, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Say again? F – K

April 27, 2013

More redundancies to ferret out in your work:

(face) mask

fall (down)

(final) outcome

(first) originated

(first and) foremost

first initial response

fly (through the air)

(foreign) imports

(free) gift

(future) plans

(general) public

green [or blue or whatever] (in color)

introduced (a new)

kneel (down)

(knowledgeable) experts

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free estimate and sample edit!

More from the Department of Redundancy Department: A – E

April 26, 2013

It’s worth checking your work for these common redundancies:

(added) bonus

(advance) warning

(all-time) record

(basic) necessities

best (ever)

biography (of her life)

(brief) summary

(careful) scrutiny

circle (around)

(close) proximity

compete (with each other)

connect (together)

(conscious) effort

consensus (of opinion)

could (possibly)

covered (all over)

during (the course of)

dwindle (down)

each (and every)

eliminate (altogether)

emergency (situation)

empty (out)

(end) result

evolve (over time)

Can you think of others?

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free estimate and sample edit!

Need I go on?

April 25, 2013

Need I go on?

And this one?

April 25, 2013

And this one.

And this one?

April 25, 2013

And this one?

What’s wrong with this cartoon?

April 25, 2013

What's wrong with this cartoon?

Don’t count the lack of capitalization.

I think it’s here already, especially online.

April 25, 2013

I think it's here already, especially online.

Reader’s Question: Writing Out Numbers

April 24, 2013

“Is there a standard for writing out numbers?”

Thanks for your question, Marie.

Like so many things in writing, it’s a matter of style and depends on the context.

About the only thing agreed on is writing out numbers below 10: one, two, nine. And there are exceptions to even that!

Your best bet is to pick a style that works for your project and apply it consistently. Using Chicago style for books and AP style for newspapers and magazines is common.

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free sample edit and estimate!

One Step Forward

April 24, 2013

There is no “s” at the end of “forward,” and “foreword” refers to a book’s introductory material.

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free sample edit and estimate!

What’s wrong with this cartoon?

April 24, 2013

What's wrong with this cartoon?

What’s wrong with this sentence?

April 23, 2013

The design is very unique.

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free sample edit and estimate!

Don’t Be So Selfish

April 22, 2013

Somehow, “me” has picked up a bad reputation, folks frequently using “myself” or “I” in the mistaken belief that “me” should be avoided.

Maybe it stems from the rule that you never use “me” as the subject. Wrong: “John and me went to the store.” Right: “John and I went to the store.”

But as the object, “me” is correct: “The clerk gave John and me a dirty look.”

In the effort to avoid using “me,” especially with plural objects, sentences like the following are common: “They bought the tickets for John and myself.” “They bought the tickets for John and I.”

Knowing better, I still catch myself using “to ‘so-and-so’ and I” in speech.

“Myself” is correct in the previous sentence because it follows the use of “I,” becoming the object of my own action.

It’s also correct to use “myself” as an intensive pronoun: “I myself prefer the summer.” “I did it myself.”

To check usage, try making the subjects or objects singular: “Me went to the store.” “The clerk gave I a dirty look.” “They bought the tickets for myself.”  It’s pretty easy to tell which is correct that way!

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free sample edit and estimate!

Sunday Funnies

April 21, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Sunday Funnies

April 21, 2013

Sunday Funnies

That vs Which

April 20, 2013

While both “that” and “which” are used without problem in other constructions, using them as relative pronouns seems to cause some confusion.

The rule of thumb* is to use “that” before essential clauses and “which” before nonessential clauses. In both cases, use “who” when the subject is a person.

An essential clause must be included in the sentence to specify the subject: The trees that were pruned have lots of blossoms.  Using “that” specifies that only some of the trees were pruned and only those have lots of blossoms.

A nonessential clause can be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence. Commas set it off from the rest of the sentence: The trees, which were pruned, have lots of blossoms. Using “which” tells us that all the trees were pruned and all have lots of blossoms. Omitting the clause results in “The trees have lots of blossoms,” which retains the meaning.

*Note that British usage is different and that some insist the rules need to be more flexible—and complex.

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free sample edit and estimate!

What’s wrong with this sentence?

April 19, 2013

I’m going to try and use good grammar.

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free sample edit and estimate!

Choose Your Battles Wisely

April 19, 2013

Choose Your Battles Wisely


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