Posted by: episystechpubs | September 16, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Classes of Pronouns

Good morning, friends! Today’s topic is pronouns. We’ve talked about pronouns quite a few times before. As Kara explained in a previous Editor’s Corner article, “A pronoun’s duty in life is to step in and take the place of a noun. Pronouns allow us to add variety and avoid sentences like this: ‘Mark hates hospitals because Mark hates getting shots.’”

In short, using pronouns saves time.

Pronouns come in different classes. To help you get the gist, I’ll tell you the classes and show you how each one works in a sentence.

Classes of pronouns:

  • Personal: I, you, she, it, we, they, etc.

Example: I want to go to the zoo. [dbb – I takes the place of the noun Donna.]

  • Demonstrative: that, this, these, those

Example: That is where I want to go. [dbb – That takes the place of the noun phrase
the zoo.]

  • Interrogative: what, which, who, where, and how

Example: Who told you that I often go to the zoo? [dbb – Who represents the person that said I go to the zoo.]

  • Relative: that which, that, where, who, etc.

Example: I want to go to the San Diego Zoo, which is world famous. [dbb – Which
takes the place of the San Diego Zoo. These relative pronoun phrases usually add more information to your sentence.]

  • Indefinite: all, another, any, each, either, none, some, someone etc.

Example: Someone must want to go with me. [dbb: Someone takes the place of the name of the charming person who might want to go with me.]

  • Possessive: My, your, his, its, their, and also mine, yours, etc.

Example: It’s my favorite zoo. [dbb – My takes the place of Donna’s.]

  • Reciprocal: each other, one another

Example: The San Diego Zoo and the Zoo Safari Park are different from one another. [dbb – One another
takes the place of
the San Diego Zoo and the Zoo Safari Park.]

  • Reflexive and Intensive: myself, yourself, himself, itself, etc.

Example: The San Diego Zoo takes it upon itself to breed a lot of endangered animals. [dbb: Itself in this example is an intensive pronoun.
Itself refers back to the San Diego Zoo to emphasize it.]

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe.

Don’t want to get Editor’s Corner anymore? Click here to unsubscribe.

Do you have a question or an idea for Editor’s Corner? Send your suggestions or feedback to Kara and <a href="mailto:DBurcher.

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

Posted by: episystechpubs | September 14, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Prepone

Dear Editrix,

While engaging in the hot-potato process of rescheduling a meeting, a teammate accepted an earlier time proposal and stated, "I’ll prepone the meeting." My eyes locked on the word prepone and after considering whether it was a typo, it hit me, "Duh! Prepone must be the opposite of postpone (pre vs. post). It makes so much sense!" Then I found the Merriam-Webster definition:

An Indian English word which means "to move to an earlier time"

Looks like MW has it pegged in Words We’re Watching and it hasn’t met criteria for entry. Can we make prepone happen?!

Excited Meeting Attendee

Dear Excited,

Wow! When I started looking into this, I stumbled onto some interesting points of view. Indeed, the resources I found referred to it as “Indian English,” which I wasn’t aware of. We hear of British English and American English…but Indian English? That was new to me.

The thing that interested me outside of the term “Indian English” was how many of the references to the term prepone were not very complimentary. They referred to it as slang and said it wasn’t to be used in mixed company; DailyWritingTips described it as a word “too strange and unlovely to my ear for me to want to use it.” What is the story behind this word?

This article has information on prepone and its interesting history. From Quartz India:

Snobbery seems to be costing the world a useful word.

While most English speakers in South Asia are familiar with the word prepone, its use will still draw blank looks elsewhere. Even in India, many well-read, well-travelled intellectuals wouldn’t be caught dead using it, unless in jest. But there isn’t really any other word in the English language that can qualify as a respectable synonym.

For the uninitiated, prepone means to bring something forward to an earlier date or time. Or very simply, it is the opposite of postpone.

The word has been a part of Indian English for decades, but it is shunned in many formal settings.

Sadly, prepone’s lack of acceptance in highbrow Indian circles has clearly tarnished its chances of gaining international recognition.

And that’s part of a larger problem—Indian English is as storied, authentic, and valid an offshoot as American English, Hong Kong English, or Jamaican English, but we don’t celebrate it as such.

If these prepone naysayers can’t embrace Indian English, maybe they should take note of this surprising fact: Prepone exists in Oxford English Dictionary (OED), aka, “the definitive record of the English language.”

According to the dictionary, the word is mostly attributed to Indian English, but it was first used in the 16th century, long before English spread in India. At that point, it meant “to place in front of.” It comes from the Latin praeponere.

There you have it, Mr. Excited. Donna and I both like it and think maybe with a little push, we could make it more than just a word that Merriam-Webster is watching. Let’s do it! Shamelessly prepone that next meeting and see what happens!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | September 9, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Out of Office Notes

Good morning, everyone. I hope your summer has treated you well and that you had the opportunity to use some vacation time. I know that I certainly enjoyed feeling free for about a month between both COVID shots and the Delta variant running rampant.

I ran across today’s topic recently. I know, it would’ve been more helpful a few months ago, but better late than never, as they say. In this department, we often get requests about how to start or end emails, and I thought this article seemed related and practical for everyone: the out-of-office (OOO) message.

Grammarly offers great advice about when to use an OOO message, how to write one, and then they provided several samples. Here are the pertinent parts of the article, along with the sample templates.

When to use an out-of-office message

It’s best to set up an out-of-office message whenever you’re unable to respond to emails during regular business hours. OOO messages are appropriate for short periods of time, such as doctor’s appointments or leaving work early for the day, as well as for longer absences, such as multiple-day vacations or parental leaves.

How to write an out-of-office message

Out-of-office messages don’t need to be elaborate; as long as they contain the essential information, that’s good enough. Some people like to jazz up their messages with details and light humor, but those are optional.

Specifically, a good out-of-office message includes three pieces of information:

  1. The dates you’ll be gone
  2. A succinct reason for your absence
  3. Points of contact for further assistance in case the matter is urgent; if you have multiple points of contact, identify who should be contacted for particular matters

These are the necessities to help your colleagues or external contacts get by while you’re gone. It gives the receiver the option of waiting for your return or proceeding without you, and it satisfies their curiosity so they don’t assume you’re gone for other reasons.

You can cover all this information in just a few sentences, so out-of-office messages are usually quite short. On top of the facts, it helps to add some friendly greetings and polite gestures, such as “thanks for your message,” or “let’s talk soon!”

How NOT to write an out-of-office message

Vacations and work leaves can bring out the silliness in people, but keep in mind that out-of-office messages are still work messages.

Be professional, and don’t say anything too informal. Even if you talk casually with your coworkers, people from outside your workplace might be emailing you, maybe even with new work opportunities you hadn’t expected. You don’t want to make a bad first impression when you’re not even there!

Moreover, avoid putting too much pressure on yourself or the colleague you’re sending people to if they need help. Don’t say things like, “They’ll help you right away” or “I’ll respond as soon as I get back.” Set realistic expectations for a time frame so people can properly organize their schedules, but don’t set them up for disappointment.

Best out-of-office message examples

Let’s take a look at some out-of-office message examples so you know what to aim for. These double as out-of-office templates or boilerplates, so feel free to copy and paste them with your own information added.

Ol’ reliable

[Your personal greeting],

Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office until [return date] for [reason]. I will be happy to reply to your message when I return.

If you need assistance in the meantime, please contact [name of colleague + their job title] at [email,
phone, etc.]
.

[Your personal closing and signature]

All business

[Your personal greeting],

I will be away from the office until [return date] for [reason] with no access to email. If your request is urgent, please contact [name of colleague + their job title] for assistance at [email, phone, etc.]. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible when I return.

[Your personal closing and signature]

Lil’ charmer

[Your personal greeting],

Thanks for your message! Unfortunately, I’m away from the office for [reason] and won’t be back until [return date]. I’ll be happy to respond to your message when I return, but if you need urgent assistance, feel free to contact [name of colleague + their job title] at [email, phone, etc.].

Thanks again, and sorry for any inconvenience!

[Your personal closing and signature]

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | September 7, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Happy Rosh Hashanah

Good morning, or gutn morgn (גוטן מארגן) in Yiddish.

In honor of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year and the clebration of the creation of the world as well at the day of judement), Im going to share some information about the Yiddish language today. Weve shared some Yiddish words with you in the past, but Ive been reading a little bit more about this rich and emotive language in a book called Wicked Good Words by Mim Harrison.

Yiddish is not the same as Hebrew, but like Hebrew, it is spoken by many Jewish people. It got its start around the 10th century when it was spoken by Jews living in Germany and then later in eastern Europe. Like English, Yiddish borrows words from many other languages. And as you already know, English borrows plenty of words from Yiddish. Here are just a few:

  • bubkes (noun): literally means beans or goat droppings, but its a synonym for nothingor a disapointing amountof something.
  • chutzpah/chutzpa/hutzpa (noun): supreme self confidence
  • geshmak (adjective): tasty, delightful (can refer to food or something meaningful that you want to eat up)
  • heymish (adjective): homey, cozy
  • kvell (verb): to swell or beam with pride
  • kvetch (verb or noun): to complain, or a complainer
  • mensch (noun): a person of integrity and honor
  • meshuga (adjective): crazy, idiotic
  • nachas (noun): joy from the achievements of someone close to you
  • nokhshleper (noun): a peron who tags along when theyre not wanted
  • schmaltz (noun): excessive sentimentality
  • schmear (noun): a bribe; a smear or spread
  • shtick (noun): a gimick or comedy routine; anything a person is known for (a habit, an idiosyncrasy, a talent, etc.)
  • tchotchke (noun): a small object that is decorative but not really useful; promotional items

A common Yidish greeting on Rosh Hashanah is a gut yor (א גוט יאר), which means [Have] a good year. And a very common ritual at the end of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar, a musical instrument made from an animal horn.

I wish all my Jewish friends a very happy Rosh Hashanah. Enjoy the celebration!

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editors Corner

Editors Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other peoples writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while were doing it.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe.

Dont want to get Editors Corner anymore? Click here to unsubscribe.

Do you have a question or an idea for Editors Corner? Send your suggestions or feedback to Kara and <a href="mailto:DBurcher.

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

Posted by: episystechpubs | September 2, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Widow’s Walk

A few weeks ago, I answered a question about the term widows peak. A serendipitous occurrence has since brought another widow term to discuss. One of our readers just happened to mention that he found the term widows walk, just days after my mom and I were admiring a widows walk on a Victorian home in Old Town San Diego, at Heritage Park.

What is a widows walk? A widows walk (also called a widows watch or a roofwalk, is an architectural feature. Heres more on the name, the feature, and then a picture of the beauty we saw at the park. From Wikipedia, a widows walk is a

railed rooftop platform often having an inner cupola/turret frequently found on 19th-century North American coastal houses. The name is said to come from the wives of mariners, who would watch for their spouses’ return, often in vain as the ocean took their lives, leaving the women widows. In other coastal communities, the platforms were called captain’s walks, as they topped the homes of the more successful captains; supposedly, ship owners and captains would use them to search the horizon for ships due in port.

However, there is little or no evidence that widow’s walks were intended or regularly used to observe shipping. Widow’s walks are in fact a standard decorative feature of Italianate architecture, which was very popular during the height of the Age of Sail in many North American coastal communities. The widow’s walk is a variation of the Italianate cupola. The Italianate cupola, its larger instance being an archetypal belvedere, was an important ornate finish to this style, although it was often high maintenance and prone to leaks.

Beyond their use as viewing platforms, they are frequently built around the chimney of the residence, thus creating access to the structure. This allows the residents of the home to pour sand down burning chimneys in the event of a chimney fire in the hope of preventing the house from burning down.

Side note: cupolas and belvederes look similar to me when Goolging images, but WikiDiff says a cupola is a dome-shaped ornamental structure located on top of a larger roof or dome, while belvedere is a turret or other raised structure offering a pleasant view of the surrounding area. There are several photos of cupolas that are not dome-like, so I might call them something else. The etymology from Wikipedia indicates that the word cupola is Borrowed from Italian cupola, from Latin cpula (little tub); from Latin cpa, cuppa (cup); named for its resemblance to a cup turned over.

Here are some photos from around the world with examples of each:

Widows Walk: Sherman-Gilbert House (1887) San Diego, CA

Belvedere: Pashkov House, Moscow Russia

Cupola: Cardiff City Hall, Wales, UK

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editors Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

When I hear the French term déjà vu, I think of a couple of things. The less disturbing of those thoughts is my high school French class, which was pretty rough because we had a Greek woman (Madame Touliatos) as a substitute teacher, and a Russian man (Monsieur G. G. Pachkovsky) as our regular teacher. Trying to find a French accent amidst the chaos was tough. The more disturbing thing that springs to mind is Dionne Warwick’s song (Déjà Vu) from 1979. I love R&B, but that song was just too sappy.

Déjà vu, in French, means “already seen.” The reason we use the French term, however, is that it doesn’t just stand for something that we’ve literally already seen, it envelops an entire feeling. In one of Grammar Girl’s guest articles, the author describes it perfectly:

Déjà vu describes the eerie sensation when something previously unknown to you—like a new neighborhood or a conversation that’s never happened before—suddenly feels like a memory of something you’ve already experienced.

Merriam-Webster defines déjà vu as "the illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time" or "a feeling that one has seen or heard something before."

One of the questions the article asks is, “What’s the opposite of déjà vu?” My first thought was Alzheimer’s or brain damage. But there is an opposite. More from Grammar Girl:

Comedian George Carlin described something he called "vuja de"—"the strange feeling that, somehow, none of this has happened before." Carlin’s made-up word was just nonsense, a comedic reversal of the term "déjà vu." But does déjà vu have a real opposite?

It does, although the term is less well-known. It’s "jamais vu." "Jamais vu" is also French, and it means "never seen."

Although you might occasionally hear people refer to jamais vu in casual contexts, it’s actually a medical term. Doctors use it to describe not recognizing something familiar, like if you walk into your back yard and it feels like you’ve never been there before. You may have experienced a mild form of jamais vu called word blindness, which happens when a familiar word suddenly doesn’t look like a real word anymore. One study found that 60% of college students say they have experienced this kind of word blindness.

And now, the rest of your French lesson for today. Here are some other French terms similar to déjà vu, from that same article:

Presque vu: Translates from French to "almost seen." It’s a more obscure term that describes being on the edge of an epiphany, or that feeling like something is "on the tip of your tongue"—but you just can’t get there.

Déjà vécu: "Already lived." This is an intense but false feeling that you’ve already lived through the present situation. Déjà vu is a short-lived phenomenon, but déjà vécu is a false memory of a whole sequence of events, which can even lead to the conviction that one has lived past lives.

Déjà entendu: "Already heard." It’s a false feeling that something you’ve never heard before is familiar. It’s the audio-only version of déjà vu.

Déjà lu: "Already read." [KC – My French failed me. I guessed that this one was “already been in this bathroom before.”] If you’ve got the weird sense that the book you’re reading is something you’ve read before, even though it was just released, you’re experiencing déjà lu.

Déjà rêvé: "Already dreamed." Often confused with déjà vu, this is the sensation that something you’re experiencing right now in the waking world has already happened to you in a dream.

Mon Dieu! Who would’ve thought the French had so many terms for these false feelings and sensations? It sounds to me like they may have some issues with “le weed.”

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Editing: Symitar Documentation Services

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

Posted by: episystechpubs | August 26, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Sisyphus and Tantalus

A few days ago, I introduced you to Procrustes, Procrustean solutions, Procrustean formatting, and a few other related terms. Today, I’d like to continue with some other words that come from Greek myths. While Procrustes was simply a villain, the next two people anger the gods in some way, and their names are associated with the punishments they are given.

Sisyphus

Sisyphus was the founder and king of what is now known as Corinth. When it was time for Sisyphus to die, Death came to fetch him for the boat ride across the River Styx and into the underworld. Using trickery, Sisyphus avoided death twice! He lived a much longer life that he was supposed to, but the Greek gods spare no wrath for humans who interfere with their plans. For fooling the gods twice, Sysiphus was punished by having to spend eternity rolling a huge boulder up a hill, and every time, just as he reaches the top, the boulder rolls down to the bottom again. According to Wikipedia, “tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean.”

Tantalus

Tantalus, like many characters in Greek myths, had one parent who was divine, and another who was mortal. When Tantalus was among the gods, he committed crimes that led to his punishment. Some myths say he told mortals the secrets he learned in heaven, others say he tested the gods’ observation by killing his son, and lastly, he was accused of stealing the nectar and ambrosia from the gods and giving those to mortals—activities generally frowned upon.

The punishment for his crimes was that Tantalus “was made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink.” (Wikipedia)

The Greeks use the proverb Tantáleioi timōríai (Tantalean punishments) in reference to those who have good things but are not permitted to enjoy them.

I thought of the word “tantalize” and had to see if it was related to Tantalus. Indeed, tantalize is from Tantalus. Here is a definition and etymology from Etymology Online:

tantalize (verb)

"to tease or torment by presenting something desirable to the view, and frustrating expectation by keeping it out of reach," 1590s, with -ize + Latin Tantalus, from Greek Tantalos, name of a mythical king of Phrygia in Asia Minor, son of Zeus, father of Pelops and Niobe, famous for his riches, punished in the afterlife (for an offense variously given) by being made to stand in a river up to his chin, under branches laden with fruit, all of which withdrew from his reach whenever he tried to eat or drink. His story was known to Chaucer (c. 1369). Related: Tantalized; tantalizing; tantalizingly; tantalization.

Here is a painting of Tantalus, which was printed on duvet covers. Why people, why?! I certainly hope your bedtime isn’t this unpleasant!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Posted by: episystechpubs | August 24, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Worst Air B&B Host – Procrustes

Today I was reading an article and it referred to a Procrustean solution. I hadn’t heard that word for a long time, and I thought it was too good to pass up as an Editor’s Corner article. There are two other words I thought I should mention too: Sisyphean and Tantalean. These three words have something in common. First: they are all eponyms (words that come from people’s names). Second: these people are all from Greek myths. Rather than define the words first, I’ll tell you a little about the myths, and then you’ll see why the words mean what they do. The stories might even make them easier to remember.

Procrustes

In Greek mythology, Procrustes was a metal smith. He was no ordinary metal smith who would forge you a sword or make a doorknob for your house. No, Procrustes was a bandit and a scoundrel. He was called Procrustes “the stretcher” and “the subduer.” His favorite trick was to invite people in to sleep on his iron bed. If they did not fit (and nobody ever did), he would stretch them until they fit if they were too short, or he’d cut their legs off if they were too tall. Therefore, the word Procrustean describes “…situations where an arbitrary standard used to measure success, while completely disregarding obvious harm that results from the effort.” (Wikipedia)

Here are some additional uses of the word Procrustean that I thought were interesting (these are also from the Wikipedia article):

  • A Procrustean solution is the undesirable practice of tailoring data to fit its container or some other preconceived structure. In a Procrustean solution in statistics, instead of finding the best fit line to a scatter plot of data, one first chooses the line one wants, then selects only the data that fits it, disregarding data that does not, to "prove" some idea. It is a form of rhetorical deception made to forward one set of interests at the expense of others. The unique goal of the Procrustean solution is not win-win, but rather that Procrustes wins and the other loses. In this case, the defeat of the opponent justifies the deceptive means.
  • In computer science, a Procrustean string is a fixed length string into which strings of varying lengths are placed. If the string inserted is too short, then it is padded out, usually with spaces or null characters. If the string inserted is too long, it is truncated. The concept is mentioned in the Sinclair ZX81 and Sinclair Spectrum user manuals, where a portion of a string is replaced by another string using Procrustean assignment—the replacement string is truncated or padded in order to have length equal to the portion being replaced. Such an assignment is also sometimes referred to as Procrustean formatting.

Such craftiness and dishonestly is alive and well today, but it’s named after a mythical creature from long ago. And speaking of long, this will be too long if I continue with Sisyphus and Tantalus, so I’ll leave them for next time. In the meantime, stay away from iron beds and people nicknamed “The Stretcher.”

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Editing: Symitar Documentation Services

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

Posted by: episystechpubs | August 19, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Common Mistakes

Good afternoon and happy Thursday, friends!

I had some free time the other afternoon, so I decided to get nerdy and read some grammar articles. I came across an article about common grammar mistakes. As an editor, I see my fair share. As a writer, I certainly make my fair share. But I was curious about what mistakes are most common. I won’t share them all, but I will share a few of the most common of the common mistakes so that we can try to avoid them.

  • Overuse of adverbs

Adverbs usually end in ly. In trying to be descriptive, people tend to overuse them. The following examples show that the adverb doesn’t make the sentence any stronger.

Mistake: I drove really quickly to get to my appointment on time.

Correction: I drove quickly to get to my appointment on time.

  • Misuse of lie/lay

Use the word lay if you are putting something down, but if you are going to make yourself horizontal, use the word lie.

Mistake: Lay your phone down and lay down on the couch with a good book.

Correction: Lay your phone down and lie down on the couch with a good book.

  • Ambiguous pronoun references

Pronouns stand in for nouns. When you use them, you need to make it clear exactly what noun the pronoun stands in for. In the first example below, it is unclear who will receive the bonus. The corrected sentence makes it clear.

Mistake: The managers told the employees that they would receive a bonus.

Correction: The managers told employees that all employees would be getting a bonus.

  • Comma splices/run-on sentences

When two independent sentences are joined with only a comma, we call that a comma splice. When there is no punctuation joining two independent sentences, we call that a run-on sentence. You can fix these mistakes by adding a period and creating two sentences or by adding a comma and a coordinating conjunction.

Mistake: I was very hungry, I ate almost the whole pizza. [comma splice]

Correction: I was very hungry. I ate almost the whole pizza. [period with two sentences}

Correction: I was very hungry, so I ate almost the whole pizza. [comma with coordinating conjunction]

  • Wordiness

Writers used to get paid by the word. These days, business and technical writers are expected to use as few words as possible while still getting the point across clearly. It takes practice and a good bit of revision to pare a sentence down to make it both clear and concise.

Mistake: It has come to our attention that your tax returns are overdue and we urge you to file them at your earliest convenience.

Correction: Your tax returns are overdue. Please file them now.

  • Would of/should of/could of

When we speak, we use a lot of contractions (for example, don’t, couldn’t, aren’t). The spoken contractions for would have (would’ve), should have (should’ve), and could have (could’ve) just happen to sound like would of, should of, and could of. But don’t be fooled: would of (and friends) are not grammatically correct options. If you write these phrases, use the full form, not the contraction: would have, should have, could have.

Mistake: I could of had a V8®!

Correction: I could have had a V8!

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe.

Don’t want to get Editor’s Corner anymore? Click here to unsubscribe.

Do you have a question or an idea for Editor’s Corner? Send your suggestions or feedback to Kara and <a href="mailto:DBurcher.

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
exclusively for the individual or entity to which it is addressed. The message,
together with any attachment, may contain confidential and/or privileged information.
Any unauthorized review, use, printing, saving, copying, disclosure or distribution
is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
immediately advise the sender by reply email and delete all copies.

Posted by: episystechpubs | August 17, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Widow’s Peaks Reboot

Seven years ago, I wrote an article on one of the more polite nicknames my coworker Jackie gave me: Edie Munster, because I have a widow’s peak. More recently, one of you sent me an email and said:

I had a hair appointment last night, and the stylist and I got to wondering where the term “widow’s peak” came from. Any thoughts? And any other famous people besides Eddie Munster that has one?

Oh boy, do I have an answer! And I have more recent photos and updated information on widow’s peaks for you.

Today’s information is from Healthline.com.

If your hairline comes together in a downward V-shape at the center of your forehead, you’ve got a widow’s peak hairline. Basically, it’s higher on the sides and has a low point in the middle.

The widow’s peak is quite distinctive in some people, while others have just the hint of one. It may be more obvious when you pull your hair straight back.

Whether you have a straight hairline or a widow’s peak is mostly a matter of genetics.

Why is it called a widow’s peak?

The term “widow’s peak” may be a holdover from 18th-century England. Tradition was that when a husband died, his wife would wear a black triangular hat or hood with the point falling in the middle of the forehead.

[KC – Here’s an example.]

Widow’s Peak Myths

A widow’s peak is a type of hairline and nothing more, despite a few persistent myths.

Folklore would have you believe that a widow’s peak forecasts an early widowhood. There’s no basis in fact for this myth.

In television and movies, the widow’s peak tends to be a “bad guy” feature. Dracula and the Joker, for example, both have a widow’s peak.

Despite popular culture, you can rest assured that having a widow’s peak says nothing about character or personality. Consider actors in “good guy” roles, like Marilyn Monroe, Keanu Reeves, and Vanessa Williams, who all have prominent widow’s peaks.

This particular hairline is not a bad omen of any sort, nor is it a flaw. It’s just another thing you inherit from your parents, like green eyes, naturally curly hair, or dimples.

And now for some famous people with widow’s peaks:

Eddie Munster (Butch Patrick)

Chris Hemsworth

Milla Jovovitch

Kerry Washington [KC – Though her hair is usually covering it with bangs or longer styles.]

Leonardo DiCaprio

Kourtney Kardashian

And there are many more! Just search Google for “famous people with widow’s peaks” and then click Images.

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives: https://episystechpubs.com/

Older Posts »

Categories