Even the Oxford Dictionary loves Rachael Ray

By Samantha Enslen •

Oh, for frack’s sake. The Washington Post reports that Rachael Ray’s catchword EVOO — that’s short for extra-virgin olive oil, for those of you not yet in the know — is to be included in the 2007 edition of the Oxford American College Dictionary. How many times do I have to say this, people? Save this shite for the Oxford …

Turning off Autocorrect in Microsoft Word

By Samantha Enslen •

One problem that can plague writers and editors who handle a technical material is that Microsoft Word’s Autocorrect feature can sometimes “correct” words that you don’t want it to. It’s just another way that Microsoft tries to make life easier for you (I guess), but winds up treating you like a child that doesn’t really know what it needs. To …

Land of Typos, part Jane Eyre

By Samantha Enslen •

OK, this is a good one … from venerated publisher Oxford University Press. Oxford just published a book called Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: A Casebook. Here’s a description of the book in Oxford’s online “Literature Newsletter”: This book provides a series of essays by Jane Eyre that are lucidly and passionately written, and carefully researched and argued while still being …

Land of Typos, part 57

By Samantha Enslen •

Cherished correspondent “J” sent in this classified ad from today’s Washington Post. Minimum Qualifications: College degree in English or related field or equivalent experience required; may have advanced degree in one of these fields or in science. 57 years of experience in copyediting scientific subject matter and knowledge of all aspects of production (electronic editing, proofreading, and page layout) is …

Oxford’s word of the year is…the most boring word ever

By Samantha Enslen •

Well, the good folks at Oxford University Press have unveiled The New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2006. And it ain’t anything cute or even elegant. It’s carbon neutral. I am yawning just typing it. Head to Oxford if you want the definition. Their reasoning for choosing such a dud? Oxford’s Erin McKean, editor of the OAD, …

E-mail lessons from Abe Lincoln

By Samantha Enslen •

Tom Wheeler’s delightful book Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails explains how the President’s adept use of the telegraph helped him win the Civil War. In a new essay, Wheeler expounds on how reading Lincoln’s “t-mails” changed his own email style. To whit: When he used an electronic message Lincoln maximized its impact by using carefully chosen words. His August 1864 telegram to …

Writing Effective E-mails, by Lifehacker

By Samantha Enslen •

Lifehacker discusses how to improve your email habits and “wrangle spaghetti email messages from the clueless into more effective communication,” with tips on writing better subject lines, writing to get an actual response from your reader, and getting emails to your correct mailbox.

Land of Typos, part gross

By Samantha Enslen •

From an information technology proposal: We will bring the lesions learned over the past 10 years to ensure success on this effort. Talking about lessons learned in proposal text is enough of a cliche. But lesions learned? That’s just gross.

Land of Typos, part corporate jargon

By Samantha Enslen •

This isn’t exactly a typo, but more an example of the type of corporate writing that makes me want to vomit. We understand that as change accelerates beyond the fundamental ability of organizations to anticipate it, only one competitive differentiator can help companies stay ahead: innovation. By enabling this constant flow of technology and innovation and facilitating this exchange of …

Are you celebrating National Punctuation Day?

By Samantha Enslen •

Well, it’s hardly a national holiday … but perhaps a few people out there will be celebrating National Punctuation Day on September 24. Be sure to check out the photos of punctuation gaffes displayed on the event site.