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June Casagrande's Blog

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Oct.22.2008
Came across this* in a story I was editing yesterday: The American workforce is becoming more diverse. Experts project that next year ethnically diverse individuals and women will make up 70% of all new hires. Set aside the logical problems with this passage. I reworded it, anyway, so some of the...
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Oct.21.2008
Eric asked me whether an italicized sentence ends with an italicized period. Since then, a reader has pointed me to a defnitive answer in the Chicago Manual of Style: CMS 15th ed., section 6.3:"Punctuation and font: primary system. All punctuation marks should appear in the same font---roman...
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Oct.20.2008
Did you know that it would be nice if a mentally challenged girl could be voted prom queen based solely on her inner beauty? Don't answer that yet. I have another question: Did you know that it would be nice if, after trying for a long time to get a cab in the pouring rain, you decided to give your...
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Oct.16.2008
hurdle / hurtle  You’re running like the wind, hauling tail Indian Jones-style through some busy marketplace. You’re shoving things out of the way, colliding into people, and leaping displays of merchandise with a single bound. So are you hurdling or hurtling? Answer: both. The running part can be...
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Oct.15.2008
- A Barack Obama language tactic: He eschews the word “Republican" to use as an approximate synonym “the last eight years.” Seems like a clever way to try to lure all discontented voters while not alienating any who might defect from the other party.  - Wells Faigo is a good bank. I know this...
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Oct.14.2008
vicious circle = 2,430,000 hits vicious cycle = 2,111,000 hits According to Garner's Modern American Usage, "Vicious circle is the phrase with the stronger precedent to support it. The OED records it from 1792 in the sense 'a situation in which an action and reaction intensify each other.'...
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Oct.08.2008
stanch: "to stop or check the flow of (blood or tears, for example); to stop the flow of blood from (a wound)" — American Heritage Dictionary "see staunch" — Webster's New World College Dictionary Funny how being reared on style guides can mess you up for life. I long took as...
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Oct.03.2008
In last night's vice presidential debate, Sen. Joe Biden used ungrammatical sentences 28 times, not counting grammar errors attributable to "shifts and false starts." Gov. Sarah Palin used 71 ungrammatical sentences not counting shifts and false starts. Because speech -- especially speech...
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Oct.02.2008
Once upon a time there was a wicked witch who looked at her reflection and asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the best writer of them all?”And the mirror replied, “Shakespeare” or “Hemingway” or “Twain” or “Austen” or “Rowling” or some other answer that, to the witch, meant, “Not you, honey...
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Sep.30.2008
You get bonked on the head. Bad-like. You get anterograde amnesia, which means you can't form new memories (think: "Memento," tattoos optional). Someone gives you a bike. You ride it. You stink at first. But then you get a little better. The next day, you don't remember getting the bike....
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Sep.24.2008
I reluctantly support chipping in my share of $700 billion dollars -- (about $2,300 for every man, woman and child in the country but more for me since deadbeat kindergarteners aren't pulling their weight) -- to bail out companies driven to the brink of destruction by stupid, selfish, short-sighted...
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Sep.23.2008
The reason is threefold: 419 hits The reasons are threefold: 597 hits I've mostly heard people use that plural one. But today I came across the "the reason is threefold" (Yes, it's another thrilling day of copy editing). Dictionaries don't address this issue directly. But, the way I...
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Sep.22.2008
Yesterday I ranted a bit about the quality of information sometimes presented to general news consumers. Today, if you’ll indulge my getting off the grammar topic just a bit longer, here’s a sample of the starkly higher quality of information presented to a subset of news consumers – those who...
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Sep.19.2008
transgender One of the editors at one of the pubs I copy edit asked me to research whether it's best used as an adjective (a transgender person), a noun (Chris is a transgender), or whether it's "transgendered." Answer: oy. Webster's New World College Dictionary, which this newspaper...
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Sep.18.2008
... the more I realize I have more thinkin' to do. Here's the first sentence of a novel I just started reading. (The name of the character has been changed.) The play—for which Jane had designed the posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its...
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