Posted by: Jack Henry | June 30, 2020

Editor’s Corner: Feeling Peevish

Good morning, folks!

Generally, I like to share lessons, new words, English information, and a wee bit of fun with you. Today, however, I’m feeling a little sad and a little grumpy, so I’m going to air some grievances, even though we are months too early for Festivus (infographic below).

You may be familiar with some of this information, because we’ve mentioned these items in past Editor’s Corner articles. Without further ado, here are some of our peeves.

When you are writing about a topic, here at JHA we ask that you do not ever use the wishy-washy (s) in parentheses. What do I mean? I mean that you need to be confident in your writing!

Incorrect: When I talked to Daisy, she said she would bring the game(s) and the snack(s).

Correct: When I talked to Daisy, she said she would bring the games and the snacks.

It’s the message that is important; don’t use feeble parentheses around the “s” and try to guess what might happen. Be bold. (Really, when did Daisy ever let you down?) For more, see this Editor’s Corner article.

Next is the ellipsis (plural: ellipses). This is punctuation that looks like three periods (…) but it is its own being. Ellipses are used, primarily, to indicate missing content. You do not need to add spaces before or after ellipses.

Incorrect: He told me to wait … he had a secret to tell me.

Correct: He told me to wait…he had a secret for me.

To see more on ellipses and meet Mrs. Wiggles, check out this quick article here.

And a little more about spaces. Don’t go crazy with them! Okay, we’ve done what we can to convince you to use only one space after a period, but it seems that some people decided that they needed to add those spaces before and after en dashes in number ranges and before and after slashes.

Incorrect: J told me that he planned to eat 10 hotdogs during the competition hours (6 p.m. – 7 p.m.).

Correct: J told me that he planned to eat 10 hotdogs during the competition hours (6 p.m.–7 p.m.).

For a lesson on hyphens and dashes, click here.

Incorrect: Bruno said he needs $1200 / month for rent.

Correct: Bruno said he needs $1200/month for rent.

We’ve been writing about this for years. For one of my favorite articles on slashes see Jackie Solano’s Nifty Nuggets article here.

Thank you for your attention! If you are one of those people who relates to these habits, I recommend that you look at the links and take them to heart. The editors will appreciate you thoroughly for it!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

Editor’s Corner Archives:

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