Let’s end the debate on “since” vs. “because”

QZSue sends this James J. Kilpatrick article on why “since” should not be used to mean “because”: Yes, it is true that every standard dictionary informs us that “since” may be employed in the sense of “because.” I beg you, fergit it! What the usual suspects do not say is that the usage is slovenly, sloppy, careless, unthinking, and likely …

Editing ghost stories? Expect a spooky stylesheet

This post is for all you copyeditors out there who handle mainly scientific and technical material. That’s what I do … except when I’m editing books of ghost stories. Ye whose stylesheets usually contain terms such as BitLocker drive encryption and Inter-site Topology Generation, look thee now with pleasure on highlights from my most recent words list. bloodlust deathbed, deathwatch …

Even the Oxford Dictionary loves Rachael Ray

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 …

Land of Typos, part Jane Eyre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 …