is the consistent misuse of “moot” is just a moo point anyway?

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SEVERAL WORDS ARE MISUSED with great consistently—and often great dexterity—on the in­ternet. “Moot” is one of them. Given that it can be used as a noun, a verb, and an ad­jec­tive, it’s not sur­prising that users get things mixed up and be­come mis­users and even abusers. While its use as an ad­jec­tive is what I want to ad­dress here, I might as well give you the whole she­bang. READ MORE

capitalizing articles and prepositions in your title

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IF YOU ARE GOING TO WRITE FOR PUBLICATION, you need ac­cess to at least one Eng­lish lan­guage grammar and usage style­book. No matter how good a writer you may be, no matter how much ex­pe­ri­ence you may have, you will use that book fre­quently. (Un­less you have a pho­to­graphic memory). As­suming you are using Amer­ican Eng­lish (AmE) in­stead of British Eng­lish (BrE), you should prob­ably fa­mil­iarize your­self with William Strunk and E.B. READ MORE

the heyday in the blood is tame (and what is a heyday?)

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I JUST PUT the fin­ishing touches on a rewrite and up­date of an old ar­ticle of mine on ’60s teen model Colleen Corby. While rereading the text and checking to see if the im­ages were linked to their source, the opening sen­tence caught my at­ten­tion. It read, “The term ‘su­per­model’ didn’t exist when Colleen Corby was in her glory days during the 1960s.” READ MORE

those fabulous furless geek brothers (rendered unimportant by recent events)

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THE BIG BANG THEORY is an end­lessly re­watch­able show: aside from the fab­u­lous char­ac­ters and the in­ter­twining of their per­sonal lives, the di­alog is chock-a-block full of humor of all sorts, from the zany to the kind that re­quires the viewer ei­ther have a rea­son­able IQ or ac­cess to the In­ternet to look things up. And there’s so much sexual humor, bla­tant and in­nu­endo. READ MORE

oops! I do not think that means what you think it means

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THE HEADLINE caught my at­ten­tion, as it was sup­posed to: “Ad­vanced OOP For Word­Press.” As should be ob­vious to most people fa­miliar with news­paper, mag­a­zines, and now on­line ar­ti­cles, the head­line is usu­ally the first thing that most readers see in any ar­ticle. Con­se­quently, it is usu­ally the first thing they read. READ MORE

if william strunk was a typographer, would he omit needless spaces

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THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE has been around for al­most one-hundred years, but it didn’t start its march to uni­versal ac­claim until 1959. That year saw the first edi­tion of William Strunk’s little book ex­panded from 43 pages to 78 pages by “co-author” E.B. White. Forty years ear­lier, Pro­fessor Strunk had pub­lished the book as a guide for his stu­dents at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. READ MORE

my forte is not my “fortay”—it’s just my “fort”

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WE HEAR IT and we say it in­cor­rectly! We usu­ally hear “fortay” when people say “forte,” an al­most uni­ver­sally mis­pro­nounced word! I can’t say it’s a part of every­one’s daily vo­cab­u­lary, but if you read enough you’ll come across it reg­u­larly. I’m writing this be­cause it was used in a couple of movies that we watched re­cently. Un­for­tu­nately, while the word and its mis­pro­nun­ci­a­tion in both films stuck in my head, the ti­tles of the two movies did not. READ MORE

on william strunk and vigorously concise writing

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WILLIAM STRUNK JR was Pro­fessor of Eng­lish at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity. In 1918, he self-published a guide for his stu­dents on Eng­lish usage and writing called The El­e­ments Of Style. The slim book con­sisted pri­marily of eight “el­e­men­tary rules of usage” and ten “el­e­men­tary prin­ci­ples of com­po­si­tion” ac­com­pa­nied by a “few mat­ters of form.’ It urged vig­orous and con­cise writing. READ MORE

about editing and those confusing proofreader’s marks

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ASIDE FROM MY OWN WORK, I have edited sev­eral books and many ar­ti­cles for others. I have no formal training in, merely study about editing. I never used the field’s ac­cepted nomen­cla­ture or proof-reading sym­bols. I just used my Strunk & White and every­thing worked out hunky-dory for those writers!

Wikipedia defines editing as “the process of se­lecting and preparing [ar­ti­cles or books] used to convey in­for­ma­tion. READ MORE