New Year, New(er) Editing Conventions

“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”  ~ Heraclitus

And the English language is certainly true of that statement.

As folks work away year-after-year at our respected homes of dictionaries … we know new words are coined through the use of new technology and new generations of talkers as well as words that have morphed into being two words, to hyphenated, and then suddenly to one; they  are being hashed over and included. Language is always changing.

Who knew we’d see these words in common usage?

  • Gobbledygook
  • Discombobulate
  • Flummox
  • Curmudgeon
  • Lackadaisical
  • Woebegone
  • Lollygag
  • Frankenfood
  • Canadianizing, adj., n
  • Canadianness, n.
  • Chi, n.2
  • stuckupiness
  • stuck-up-ness

And one of the interesting language points of change — getting much uptake in the last year or so — is that of using “their” respectfully instead of he/she when the person is unknown. This is a big change for many who spent years in school being told the opposite: always use she/he or he/she when the person(s) in question are unknown, never use “their.”

But to endeavour to carry out the best writing and editing we must stay on the upper edge of the curve. Even though I admit, it took me awhile to write email as one word without hesitation  — and when editing scientific-type documents to accept “generalizability” as a word it took me awhile to do it without a gulp.

I wonder what new language conventions 2018 will bring?

Happy New Year everyone! May you enjoy the best of 2018 and look to EditAbove for any of your editing, writing, and related presentation needs!

Dashing through the snow … dashing to the Boxing Week sales?

Ever think about what kind of dash you need?

Em dashes are the size of an “M” … maybe fun to remember it with the performer Eminem … two M’s in there. Em dashes are used to give a strong separation in a thought that you still want to keep connected. A semicolon can also perform this function, but an em dash does it in a more — pronounced way.

En dashes are the size of an “N” … maybe fun with a song memory too … “na na na na … hey, hey it’s smaller than an em dash!” En dashes are typically used to represent a span or range for numbers, dates, or the like. They are often interpreted to be used to mean “to” or “through.”  Like … “I’m travelling to Hawaii and away Jan. 1, 2018–Jan.15, 2018.”

Hyphens are the shortest of these dashes and they are primarily used to help form compound terms.  “Copy-Editing for you is a blast!”

Of course … use of these dashes and whether you put spaces around them may also be dictated by the style guide(s) you may be working with.