Posted by: episystechpubs | February 23, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Pocket Park

Happy Friday!

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about steps and stairs, and mentioned walking through a neighborhood “pocket park.” Some of you thought I was up to my old shenanigans of creating terms or national holidays that don’t really exist. Others sent me jokes about what pocket parks might be. Well, I’m here to tell you, pocket parks are a real thing!

From Wikipedia:

A pocket park (also known as a parkette, mini-park, vest-pocket park, or vesty park) is a small park accessible to the general public. [KC – Okay, I just have to add that “parkette” and “vesty park” make me want to throw up a little.] Pocket parks are frequently created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land. They also may be created as a component of the public space requirement of large building projects.

Pocket parks can be urban, suburban, or rural, and can be on public or private land. Although they are too small for physical activities, pocket parks provide greenery, a place to sit outdoors, and sometimes a children’s playground. They may be created around a monument, historic marker, or art project.

In highly urbanized areas, particularly downtowns where land is very expensive, pocket parks are the only option for creating new public spaces without large-scale redevelopment. In inner-city areas, pocket parks are often part of urban regeneration plans and provide areas where wildlife such as birds can establish a foothold. Unlike larger parks, pocket parks are sometimes designed to be fenced and locked when not in use.

That is the perfect description of the two little pocket parks in my neighborhood. One is at the end of the street and is surrounded by houses and a canyon. The park itself is tiny: the corner of a block. But there are trees, some chairs, a few stumps to sit on, and birds, squirrels, and even coyotes that come to visit. Here are a few pocket parks in other cities:

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | February 22, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Commonly Confused Words Vocabulary Quiz

Good morning! I’ve shared these DailyWritingTips vocabulary quizzes before. Many of you responded positively, so now you all have to suffer through another one. Bwah-hah-hah!

You must choose from two commonly confused words. Remember, there is no physical prize for getting all the answers right, but you will experience a severe uptick in your self-confidence and a healthy measure of self-pride.

If more than one answer seems correct, pick the most likely one. I’ve included the correct answers below. Take the quiz, and then scroll down to see how you did. Good luck, my friends!

1. Do you mean to __________ that I stole your cell phone?
a) infer
b) imply

2. The students are ___________ in learning algebra.
a) disinterested
b) uninterested

3. The state ____________ is a miniature of the one in Washington D.C.
a) capitol
b) capital

4. Between the years 1845 and 1855, nearly a million people _______ from Germany to the United States.
a) emigrated
b) immigrated

5. The agents used torture to ___________ information from the prisoners.
a) illicit
b) elicit

Answers

1. Do you mean to imply that I stole your cell phone?

b) imply

“To imply” means suggest, while “to infer” means to draw a conclusion by reasoning.

2. The students are uninterested in learning algebra.
b) uninterested

The word “uninterested” indicates simple lack of interest, while “disinterested” connotes a lack of self-interest in a matter to be decided.

3. The state capitol is a miniature of the one in Washington D.C.
a) capitol

A capitol is a building that serves as a center of government; a capital is the chief city in a country or a state.

4. Between the years 1845 and 1855, nearly a million people emigrated from Germany to the United States.
a) emigrated

“To emigrate” is to leave a country with the intention of settling in another. “To immigrate” is to pass into a new country of residence.

5. The agents used torture to elicit information from the prisoners.
b) elicit

“Elicit” is to draw out a response. “Illicit” means not lawful.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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

Symitar Documentation Services

NOTICE: This electronic mail message and any files transmitted with it are intended
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Posted by: episystechpubs | February 21, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Boilerplate

We receive several versions of copyright and trademark information from corporate, and one of those versions is our boilerplate information. This is the standard information we include in front of all of our documentation about our different products, slogans, and trademarked material. Somebody asked where the word boilerplate came from, and I found this:

From Merriam-Webster:

boilerplate

noun

boiler plate or boiler iron: flat-rolled steel usually about a quarter to a half inch thick used especially for making boilers and tanks and for covering ships

2a : syndicated material supplied especially to weekly newspapers in matrix or plate form b : standardized text <A publisher’s contracts are, in the words of one executive, “boilerplate,” varying one from another only in matters such as royalty rates, the amount of advances … and so on. — W. Ross Winterowd, College Composition and Communication, May 1989> c : formulaic or hackneyed language <bureaucratic boilerplate>— often used before another noun <a boilerplate speech>

3a : a relatively smooth surface (as of flush or overlapping slabs of rock) on a cliff affording little or no foothold b : a frozen crusty surface of snow

I know what you’re thinking! I’ll take 3b, a frozen crusty surface of snow for $200, Trebek! Yeah, this wasn’t my favorite explanation either, and then I found this at Online Etymology Dictionary:

boilerplate (n.)

"iron rolled in large, flat plates for use in making steam boilers," 1840, from boiler + plate (n.). In newspaper (and now information technology) slang, "unit of writing that can be used over and over without change," 1893. The connecting notion probably is sturdiness or reusability, but it might also be literal: From 1890s to 1950s, publicity items were cast or stamped in metal ready for the printing press and distributed to country newspapers as filler. The largest supplier was Western Newspaper Union.

Great question from the audience; thank you for sending it my way.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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 | February 20, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Run on with your run-ons

Today I’m going to dazzle you with a little bit about what run-on sentences are and some easy ways to fix them. I know, just what you were waiting for!

Some people think that run-on sentences are really long sentences that just go on and on until you ask yourself, “Who does this William Faulkner think he is?” Actually, run-on sentences are a very specific type of grammar problem where you have two or more main clauses that are not separated by a period or semicolon, or two clauses that are joined together by a conjunction.

For example:

I love dogs I would have an entire farm of them if I could.

As you can see, this example has two separate clauses “I love dogs” and “I would have an entire farm of them if I could.” Let’s look at four easy ways to fix this run-on catastrophe.

Fixing Run-on Sentences

  1. The easiest way to fix this is to use a period to separate the clauses.

    I love dogs. I would have an entire farm of them if I could.

  2. The second easiest way to fix this run-on sentence is to use a semicolon to link the two separate, but related, ideas.

    I love dogs; I would have an entire farm of them if I could.

  3. Not a dog person? Okay, fine. Let’s switch over to cats. In this case, we will take our run-on sentence and use a comma and a conjunction to separate the clauses.
    Instead of this: Cats are wonderful cats are always ready to cuddle.

    Try this: Cats are wonderful, and they are always ready to cuddle.

  4. The last solution is to change one of the independent clauses into a dependent clause and use the proper punctuation.

    Because cats are wonderful, they are always ready to cuddle.

I hope this makes fixing run-on sentences a little easier. Now, my next lesson is to teach you how to bandage yourself after trying to cuddle a cat that doesn’t want it!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | February 16, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Misology and Mixology

One of the blogs I subscribe to, The Grammarist, sends me tidbits about frequently confused words. Sometimes they come up with brilliant comparisons or insights; other times I wonder if they were goofing around when they come up with things like “chips vs. fries,” “prostate vs. prostrate,” or “nib vs. nub.” Today’s article is one of those that made me laugh. Yes, the words (misology and mixology) sound similar, but do people really mix up “hatred of reason” with “mixing cocktails”? Well, you be the judge.

Misology and mixology are two words that are very close in pronunciation and spelling, but have different meanings.

Misology is a hatred of reason, a hatred of debate or a hatred of being free of ignorance. A misologist is one who hates reason or debate. The word misology is derived from the Greek word misologia, meaning hatred of words. The idea of misology is found in Plato’s Phaedo, which recalls the last hours of Socrates’ life and his suicide.

Mixology is the practice of mixing cocktails and other alcoholic drinks. One who performs mixology is a mixologist. The term mixologist to mean a bartender first appeared in the mid-1800s, though the term mixology first appeared in the mid-1900s, as a backformation of mixologist.

Shaken, not stirred.

Enjoy your weekend!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | February 15, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Belated Valentine’s Day Puns

Happy belated Valentine’s Day. I am working remotely and didn’t get to spend the day with my sweetheart, but we’ve never been very into this holiday, anyway. Call me jaded, but this romantic holiday feels overly commercialized. Maybe my days working as a florist killed all the romance of this day.

So, as a means of sharing my humbug attitude about Valentines’ Day, I thought I’d offer you twelve really awful Valentine’s Day puns from Dictionary.com. (Click the link to see cute images that go along with the puns.)

  1. Olive you!
  2. We’re butter together. You’re my butter half.
  3. You’re my significant otter. I’m otterly in love with you.
  4. You’ve gotta pizza my heart
  5. I knead you! I loaf you!
  6. I love you more than I can bear. Life without you would be grizzly.
  7. Will you bee mine? We bee-long together, honey!
  8. I lava you very much. It was lava first sight.
  9. I love you watts. You turn me on.
  10. I find you ribbiting. I’m toad-ally into you.
  11. I’m really fondue you. You’re so grate.
  12. You’re fern-tastic. Don’t ever leaf me.

I know they’re horrible! That’s the point of puns. I hope your day is a good one.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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

Symitar Documentation Services

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.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I was looking for a topic today and rather than shooting each other with arrows of love or delivering chocolate hearts, I decided it would be more appropriate to share some heart-related etymologies with you. I thought of one of my Greek aunts calling me “cardoula-mou” (καρδούλα-μου), which is basically “sweetheart,” and I thought I’d take it from there.

heart: Old English heorte “heart (hollow muscular organ that circulates blood); breast, soul, spirit, will, desire; courage; mind, intellect,” from Proto-Germainic *herton- (source also of Old Saxon herta, Old Frisian herte, Old Norse hjarta, Dutch hart, Old High German herza, German Herz, Gothic hairto).

cardiac: “of or pertaining to the heart,” c. 1600, from French cardiaque (14c.) or directly from Latin cardiacus, from Greek kardiakos “pertaining to the heart,” from kardia “heart.”

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | February 13, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Humorous Epigraphs

Good day, fine people!

After Friday’s email fiasco, I know a lot of people here were upset with me. Today, I have some humorous epitaphs (phrases or statements written in memory of a person who has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone) for you, from a Richard Lederer article. I don’t think anyone was mad enough to put me six feet under, but if you were, I’d hope you’d come up with something like these for my last words.

Although you may find the humor a bit grave and the plots too deep, I am pleased to unveil some of the English-speaking world’s funniest epitaphs.

Let’s start our expedition with epitaphs that demonstrate how some folk take their jobs with them to the grave.

Epitaph on a dentist:

Stranger: Approach this spot with gravity.
John Brown is filling his last cavity.

Epitaph on a lawyer:

Goembel, John E.
“The defense rests.”

Epitaph on an auctioneer:

Born 1828
Going!
Going!!
Gone!!!
1876

My favorite in this category is an epitaph on a waiter:

By and by,
God caught his eye.

Some epitaphs show that punning can be a grave experience.

Epitaph on a drunkard:

He had his beer
From year to year,
And then his bier had him.

About a woman who died from consumption:

It was a cough that carried her off.
It was a coffin they carried her off in.

On the stone of a church organist named Meredith:

Here lies one blown out of life
Who lived a merry life,
And died a merry death.

In an English burial ground:

Here under the sod and under the trees
Is buried the body of Solomon Pease.
But in this hole lies only his pod.
His soul is shelled out and gone to God.

In an Irish burial ground:

Here lies Bridget O’Callaghan
Postmistress and Spinster
Returned – Unopened

Epitaph on an atheist:

All dressed up and no place to go.

On the gravestone of one Owen Moore:

Gone away, owin’ more than he could pay.

On the headstone of Anglo-French writer Hilaire Belloc:

When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
“His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.”

Epitaph written by American author Dorothy Parker:

Excuse my dust.

Boot hill cemeteries throughout the American West are dotted with wry messages on their tombstones:

Here lies Lester Moore:
Four slugs from a forty-four.
No Les. No More.

Here lays Butch.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.

Here lies a man named Zeke,
Second-fastest draw in Cripple Creek.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | February 12, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Grippe, flu, and photos for you!

On Friday, an email intended for the administrator of the Editor’s Corner mailing list was erroneously sent to the entire mailing list. I apologize for any confusion this caused and for any unwanted emails you received. Thank you for your patience.

*************************************

Good morning!

This is sort of a backwards way of doing things, but why not? Today’s Editor’s Corner started with some photos that one of you sent me. I’ve been patiently waiting for an opportunity to use them, but nothing has arisen. I thought maybe I could give them to the folks who keep warning us about the flu, since they’re health-related. But no! These are mine!

I decided to invent an opportunity. Heath-related? Flu season? That got me thinking. I remember in French class learning the word “grippe” meant “the flu.” It sounded so much more serious back then, probably because they always accompanied mentions of la grippe with pictures of the plague and Paris sewers. I seem to recall reading about someone screaming, “La grippe! La grippe!” and then dying. Of course, that was probably me just being dramatic and then falling asleep in second period French class.

Anyway, here’s what I found. Somewhere in the United States, somebody has been using the term grippe to mean flu since 1776! From Merriam-Webster:

noun: grippe
old-fashioned term for influenza.

French, literally, seizure, probably from gripper to seize.

And our “flu”:

noun: influenza

a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages causing fever, severe aching, and catarrh, and often occurring in epidemics.

Mid-18th century: from Italian, literally ‘influence,’ from medieval Latin influentia (see influence). The Italian word also has the sense ‘an outbreak of an epidemic,’ hence ‘epidemic.’ It was applied specifically to an influenza epidemic that began in Italy in 1743, later adopted in English as the name of the disease.

So there you have it! And now, the photos. Stay safe, America!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | February 9, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Good Night vs Goodnight

The other day, after my Editor’s Corner Everyday vs Every Day, someone asked me about the words goodnight vs good night. At Symitar, we also have a third option: GOODNIGHT. As you might guess, this is the name of a job file that runs in the evening after business hours.

Today, we’ll concentrate on the first two options.

goodnight: Goodnight (as a single word) is considered an interjection. When someone is leaving for the evening, or heading off to bed, you might say “Goodnight, Lucy. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Or you might actually use their real name. That might go over better!

good night: In this case, good is an adjective and night is a noun. Used together, they mean the same as goodnight: something said as a farewell gesture to someone who is leaving or someone who is hitting the hay. You could also be describing the night itself. For example:

  • “Good night,” said Captain Von Trapp to all of his little ones, before he tucked them into bed.
  • This is a good night to go fishing! The moon is full, the water is calm, and they just stocked the lake!

Just remember, you would not use the single word to describe the night itself; it is simply a farewell for the evening.

Incorrect: I’m wearing my lucky socks. It’s a goodnight to play poker!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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.
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is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please
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