"Dash it all!" This thought sometimes springs to mind when I am reading or editing something. I can't blame the writers – I believe that a majority of English speakers overuse hyphens because they're easier, although many simply do not know the difference between hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes.
As an American editor living in the UK, I had to make an adjustment in…
There are certain words in the English language that, through no fault of their own, are constantly misused and abused. They are innocent bystanders that get caught in the crossfire between a deadline and the rush to get things done quickly without proper revisions. Who will stand up for these downtrodden victims of our modern haste? Will you?
Words that are misused due to typing errors or confusion over the differences in their meanings: Complement/compliment, accept/except,…
Added by Cassie O'Shea on February 7, 2013 at 10:43am — No Comments
As an American editor working in the UK, I come across linguistic puzzles on a daily basis. The wacky spelling differences between US and UK English, reconciling a preference for compound words with a hyphen-happy approach, the many grammatical rules have been smoothed over for American consumption – most of these are par for the course (or go with the territory). What stumps me are the cultural variations of colloquialisms, catchphrases, and vocabulary.
For many purists,…Continue
Added by Cassie O'Shea on November 8, 2012 at 12:27pm — No Comments
As all writers know, the page is a battlefield. First, you must conquer the blankness of the white paper (or screen, depending on your preferred setting), then all of your little troops of letters must be ordered about to create sense and purpose. In this epic struggle between mind and matter, where do you draw the line between being correct and being creative?
In a perfect world, we would all be churning out perfectly written sentences full of revelatory, life-changing…Continue
Added by Cassie O'Shea on August 10, 2012 at 7:48am — No Comments