Category Archives: Language

Editor’s Note: Bear Facts

There are certain words in the English language that seem to be born troublemakers. One of these is bear. It should be noted that I am not referring to the noun; Smokey has enough problems of his own. No, I’m … Continue reading

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Editor’s Note: I’m Used to Being Ignored

About six months ago, I was invited to join a Facebook group called “Language Snobs ‘Я’ Us.” The group includes some other copy editors but is mostly made up of people who are serious about correct grammar (in the broadest … Continue reading

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Editor’s Note: The Invisible Work of the Copy Editor

This is the fourth in a series of occasional articles on grammar and language. The life of a copy editor is difficult because it is not possible to read anything without mentally (and often physically) correcting it. The past week … Continue reading

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Editor’s Note: Liars and Layers

This is the third in a series of occasional articles on grammar and language. A few facts to begin with: I own a Kindle. I am a cheapskate. Because I don’t like to spend money on books (I’m a faithful … Continue reading

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Editor’s Note: Did It Happen or Not?

This is the second in a series of occasional posts on grammar and copy editing. A couple of weeks ago, the following headline appeared in a daily email newsletter from the Washington Post: If I were copy editing this, I … Continue reading

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Editor’s Note: Getting Started

This is the first of a series of occasional posts on grammar and copy editing. When I first started my business, I was mostly typing student papers, and it was clear that my competitive edge was that I automatically edited … Continue reading

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Pleasantries

In the July issue of The Rotarian, the official magazine of Rotary International, circulated to over 500,000 English-speaking Rotarians worldwide, frequent contributor David Sarasohn, in an article titled “Wishful Thanking,” ranted about the use of “No problem” instead of “You’re … Continue reading

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Honon Steak Revisited

Last month I wrote about the mystery of “honon steak.” Someone suggested to me that, since this seemed to be an Iowa specialty, I should contact a local historical society for assistance. Accordingly, on May 5, I located a contact form … Continue reading

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An Iowa Treat

Oh, there’s nothing halfway About the Iowa way to treat you, When we treat you, Which we may not do at all. –“Iowa Stubborn,” Meredith Willson, The Music Man On April 25, I will be giving a book review at … Continue reading

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False Erudition and Muphry’s Law

Wikipedia’s article on Muphry’s Law states that “Muphry’s law is an adage that states: ‘If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.’ The name is a deliberate … Continue reading

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