High Hopes

May 10, 2013

High Hopes

Thanks, Pam!

Oops!

May 10, 2013

Oops!

What’s wrong with this sentence?

May 8, 2013

A rare species had alluded my collection.

Reader’s Question: Spacing for Dashes

May 6, 2013

Elements of Style shows a dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses. Of course it is; I get that. What about the dash we sometimes see that immediately follows the last typed character in a word? I don’t have an example, so cannot give you the context, because someone just asked me this and I don’t have an answer. The way it would look is like this: The cat was on the table- rest of sentence. 
(Not The cat was on the table – rest of sentence). How I would love to say it’s a typo, but this person assures me they’ve seen it in published works. Your thoughts?

Thanks for your question, Marie.

Once again, it’s a matter of style.

In AP style, an en dash is used, with a space before and after.

In Chicago style, an em dash is used, with no space before or after.

I know of no case that calls for a space after a dash and none before. Your friend might be thinking of a hanging hyphen: eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture.

Hope this helps!

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

Sunday Funnies

May 5, 2013

Sunday Funnies

What’s wrong with this sentence?

May 4, 2013

It is unfortunate that some users still live in a fool’s paradise and fail to install an antivirus program and jeopardize their computer’s security.

 

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

Verbal Imodium

May 3, 2013

Some writers believe that verbosity increases their credibility, but usually the opposite is true. Wordiness obscures meaning and weighs text down with unnecessary language.

The following phrases can be replaced with a single word:

prior to = before

at the present time = now

due to the fact that = because

notwithstanding the fact = although

located in the vicinity of = near

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

What’s wrong with this sentence?

May 2, 2013

The show on Friday night starts at 9:00 p.m.

I feel badly …

May 1, 2013

since I lost my fingers to frostbite.

But if my sense of touch is intact, it should be “I feel bad.”

In an effort to be correct, folks often mistakenly convey that their sense of touch is impaired rather than that they regret something.

The confusion arises because “feel” can serve as either an action verb or a linking verb, along with “to be,” “smell” and “taste.”

Action verbs convey an action and take an adverb (-ly). Linking verbs describe a state of being or emotion and take an adjective.

To check your usage, try replacing the word in question with the appropriate form of  “to be.” I am badly doesn’t work.

 

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

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!

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