Posted by: episystechpubs | October 3, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Homonyms, Part 1

Way back in the day, more than five years ago, I did several Editor’s Corner articles on homonyms. According to the dictionary, homonym can mean either:

· One of two or more words pronounced alike, but different in meaning or derivation or spelling (as in to, too, and two) [also known as a homophone]

· One of two or more words spelled alike but different in meaning or derivation or pronunciation (as the bow of a ship, a bow and arrow) [also known as a
homograph]

One of the most common sets of homonyms you’ll see is they’re/their/there.

Today and tomorrow, I will share the list of homonyms and definitions from the group at Daily Writing Tips.

1.
add: increase
ad: abbreviation for advertisement

2.
aid: help
aide: one who helps

3.
block: area bounded by streets, or an obstacle or a solid object
bloc: group with ideas or ideology in common

4.
cannon: piece of artillery
canon: collection of works, or regulation, or standards or rules or a collection of them

5.
canvas: durable, heavy protective material
canvass: debate, examine, or go out in search of responses

6.
chomp: bite down
champ: bite down (same meaning, but idiom is “champ at the bit”)

7.
compliment: praise
complement: complete or enhance

8.
conscious: aware
conscience: adherence to or regard for fairness or moral strength

9.
council: deliberative or legislative body
counsel: legal adviser

10.
discrete: separate
discreet: modest, prudent, unobtrusive

11.
fair: event for entertainment, exhibition, and trade
fare: specific type of food

12.
phase: carry out or introduce a stage, or adjust for synchronicity
faze: disturb

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | October 2, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Smishing

Some of you may already be familiar with the term smishing. For those of you who aren’t, smishing is a scam in the form of a text message. The “smisher” attempts to get you to log on to a fraudulent website or to call a phone number and provide personal information.

The word smishing is a portmanteau of SMS (short message service) and the word phishing. Merriam-Webster is tracking the usage of the word smishing to determine if it should be added to the dictionary.

This article provides some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of smishing. Remember to think before you click.

Jackie Solano | Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.542.6711 | Extension: 766711

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Posted by: episystechpubs | September 29, 2017

Editor’s Corner: In the Pink

Happy Friday!

I hope that your upcoming weekend looks safe, warm, and minus any hurricanes, fires, or other natural disasters.

In past articles, we’ve talked about different colors and associated phrases and meanings, and today I’d like to share an article with you about the phrase “in the pink.” From The Grammarist:

In the pink is an idiom that dates back at least the 1600s, but has a very unexpected origin. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the idiomatic phrase in the pink, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

In the pink is an English idiom that means to be at the peak of health, to be in perfect condition. The expression in the pink to mean to be at the peak of health goes back to the 1500s when the word pink did not refer to a color. At that time, the word pink referred to a certain type of flower called dianthus, still referred to as pinks in the English vernacular, today. Pinks, the flowers, were considered the pinnacle of floral design and so the word pink came to mean anything that was the pinnacle of excellence. The word pink is derived from the Danish term pinck oogen, which translates as half-closed eyes or small eyes, a clear reference to the appearance of the dianthus flower. Unbelievably, the word pink to mean a color was not used until the end of the 1700s, and not in general use until the 1800s.

Examples:

As a world famous media personality, she has good reason to be in the pink. (The Daily Mail)

“He’s in the pink of health considering his age,” Abella said. (The Philippine Star)

Dianthus Pink Kisses

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | September 28, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Historic or Historical?

Last week, I wrote a post about historical swear words. And the word historical made me think. I know that many of us are confused about whether to use the word historic or the word historical. I looked up this word pair to see if there is an easy way to remember which word to use in specific circumstances. It turns out there is a nifty mnemonic.

First, let’s start with definitions for each.

· Historic means “something important or influential in history.”

· Historical means “anything from the past.”

You visit historic sites (important sites like Stonehenge or the Coliseum); you share historical Elizabethan swear words with your friends.

The mnemonic to help you remember which word to use comes from William Safire: “Any past event is historical, but only the most memorable are historic.”

If you want to read more about these two words, the Grammar Girl website has an interesting article.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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

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Posted by: episystechpubs | September 27, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Cyber

Dear Editrix,

Can you offer some tips on the use of the term cybersecurity…or is it cyber security?

Thanks!

Secure in the South

Dear Secure,

What great timing you have! Here on the JHA island of Symitar, we just enjoyed a fantastic educational conference, and it was full of presentations about the topic of cybersecurity. Being one of the editors of these presentations, I noticed that different people used different rules for cyber. Some used it as a prefix (cyberattack) and others used it as an adjective (cyber attack).

We should definitely all be using the same terminology here. At JHA, we use the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and Merriam-Webster as our primary resources. In this case, CMOS did not offer any help, but Merriam-Webster did.

According to our favorite dictionary, cyber should be used as a prefix. (Incidentally, the AP Style Guide agrees.) Following are some of the more common cyber-related words, along with the preferred spelling:

· cyberattack

· cyberbullying

· cybercafe

· cybersecurity

· cyberspace

· cyberstore

I hope this helps!

Kara

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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Posted by: episystechpubs | September 26, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Mukilteo

Here I am up in the Pacific Northwest again, working from my parents’ home. Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to hang out with my friend Liesel, my favorite buddy from high-school swim team. We met near the ferry she takes to Whidbey Island, from Mukilteo. I looked up Mukilteo and found out that the name means “good camping ground.”

I thought I’d look up some other city names from the area and see what they mean. For the complete, unedited list, you can click here. And my apologies to anyone that doesn’t like the term “Indian”; this article is full of it.

· Cle Elum: Salish term meaning “swift water.”

· Enumclaw: This was a traditional campsite for the Duwamish Indians. Translations of “Enumclaw” range from “place of evil spirits” (probably a European misconception of Native sacred places), “thundering mountain,” and “loud, rattling noise.”

· Issaquah: The hunting and fishing ground of the Snoqualmie Indians. According to some accounts, the Indians called the area “Ishquoh” which may have meant “the sound of the birds.” When pronounced in Indian, the word has a glottal stop which English-speakers have difficulty with and so they pronounced it as “squak” In 1899, the town was officially designated as Issaquah.

· Newhalem: Based on a Salish word which means “goat snare.”

· Okanogan: Based on the Salish word “okanagen” which means “rendezvous.”

· Quilcene: This was originally the home of the Twana Indians who apparently called it Kwil-sid. The name may mean “salt water people.”

· Salkum: Probably means “boiling up,” which refers to a section on the Cowlitz River where the falls are located.

· Seattle: is named for Suquamish Chief Sealth.

· Sequim: Located in the homeland of the S’Klallam Indian tribe, the bay was called Such-e-kwai-ing which means “quiet water” and was then Anglicized into Sequim (which is pronounced “skiwm”.)

· Tacoma: The Salish-speaking Indians in the area referred to it as Shubahlup which means “the sheltered place.” American settlers later named it Tacoma which is supposedly from Takohoma which has been reported to mean “frozen waters,” or “nourishing breast,” or “near to heaven” which may refer to the nearby Mt. Rainier.

· Tenino: This name comes from the Chinook word which means “meeting place” in reference to it being a meeting ground and trading place. In addition, the Tenino are a Shaptian-speaking tribe related to the Umatilla and the Celilo.

· Twisp: Appears to be from the Chinook word “t-wapsp” which means “yellow jacket.”

· Walla Walla: Named for the Walla Walla Indian tribe, a Sahaptian-speaking group linguistically and culturally related to the Palouse and Wanapam. Walla Walla is often translated as “many waters.”

· Wapato: From the Chinook word “wapatoo” which means “potato” referring to the camas root which was commonly used for food.

Washington State Ferry in Mukilteo

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

Posted by: episystechpubs | September 25, 2017

Editors Corner: Lightning and Lightening

One of our readers noticed that people have a tendency to mix up the words lightning and lightening. In todays post, I hope to enlighten you about the difference between the two words and provide a tip for spelling them correctly.

First, here are some definitions (from Merriam-Webster):

lightning: the flashing of light produced by a discharge of atmospheric electricity

lighten: to make light or clear : ILLUMINATE

With some commonly confused words, the similarities are coincidental. However, lightning and lightening are closely related. Both words come from the Middle English word lightenen (also spelled lihtenen). Its easy to see the connectiona flash of lightning lightens the sky.

I know that Editors Corner readers like mnemonics. I couldnt find any good ones for lightning and lightening, so I made my own. I hope it helps.

Tip: Lightning strikes quickly, so write lightning as quickly as possible (by leaving out the letter E).

The word lightening can also refer to reducing the weight of something. In this case, the similarity between light (not dark) and light (not heavy) does seem to be a coincidence.

Although both words come from Old English loht (also spelled lht), if you trace them farther back, light (meaning not dark) is similar to Latin lux (light), and light (meaning not heavy) is similar to Latin levare (to raise).

Ben Ritter | Technical Editor | Symitar
8985 Balboa Avenue | San Diego, CA 92123
619-682-3391 | or ext. 763391 | www.Symitar.com

Symitar Documentation Services

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Posted by: episystechpubs | September 22, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Bluetiful

The Crayola shade Dandelion is out and Bluetiful is in. Crayola recently announced the name of a new blue crayon called Bluetiful,and not everyone is happy about the new name because it isn’t a real word.

Bluetiful is a portmanteau of the words blue and beautiful.

Earlier this year, Crayola asked fans to vote for one of five possible names for the new crayon. The options were: Blue Moon Bliss, Bluetiful, Dreams Come Blue, Reach for the Stars, and Star Spangled Blue. Bluetiful was the winner.

Whether you love or hate the new name, it sure is a heck of a lot easier for kids to say than YInMn blue, which is the blue pigment that inspired the new crayon. YInMn blue is named after the elements that it contains: yttrium, indium, and manganese, and oxygen. Click here to learn more about YInMn blue.

If you are upset about the name of the new crayon, click here for a fun activity that, hopefully, makes you feel better.

Jackie Solano | Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.542.6711 | Extension: 766711

Symitar Documentation Services

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Posted by: episystechpubs | September 21, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Historical Swear Words (Rated PG)

I love words—all kinds of words. So I was delighted to find the following list of Shakespearean/Elizabethan swear words (late 1500s to mid-1600s) on Dictionary.com. Don’t worry; by today’s standards, they are all safe to use in public and in mixed company—not kind, but safe. In deference to time, I’ve cut the definitions down. Click this link to read a little more about each word.

Knave: The word knave was used to insult someone of the male gender. In Shakespeare’s time, the word was used to describe a liar, a cheat, or a con artist.

Cozen: To cozen someone was to cheat them. This may be an abbreviation of the phrase “to make a cousin of” which references a classic scam from Renaissance Europe.

Scumber (or scummer): This word is a substitute for the more common s-word.

Whelp: We know that whelp is a word for a puppy, but when applied to a human child, it was considered an insult.

Churl: This word is a derogatory synonym for peasant. It was very insulting in a time of lords and peasants (churl could be likened to the offensive phrase trailer trash—not cool).

Block: This word was used to imply that a person was as stupid as an inanimate object.

Pander and Bawd: These words were used to refer to male and female pimps (respectively).

Sblood: This Shakespearean phrase is short for God’s blood. It was especially offensive because it took the lord’s name in vain and brought “blood into the picture for extra effect.”

Jobbernowl: The knowl is the crown of the head, so this word meant something like stupid head or numbskull.

Scald: This word is a synonym of scurvy, a disease that resulted in swollen, bleeding gums and loose teeth; bruised skin; and a bunch of other nasty symptoms. Obviously, calling someone a scald was a pretty big insult.

Bedlamite: Bedlam was (and still is) the nickname for the Bethlehem Royal Hospital (now called Bethlem Royal Hospital). It’s the oldest and most famous psychiatric hospital (still in operation) in Europe, founded in 1247 to care for the poor and indigent. The hospital became known as Bedlam beginning in the 1600s, and it became infamous for its inhumane conditions and poor treatment of its patients and the mentally ill. The word bedlam (meaning “a scene of mad confusion”) dates back to the early 1600s and is associated with the hospital. The term bedlamite was used as an insult for anyone acting crazy.

For those who are interested, I found an article about Bethlem Royal Hospital called “10 Crazy Facts from Bedlam, History’s Most Notorious Asylum.” It’s a little long, so save it for after work. I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but I can vouch for its creepiness. I found it quite disturbing. Consider yourself warned.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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

Symitar Technical Publications Writing and Editing Requests

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Posted by: episystechpubs | September 20, 2017

Editor’s Corner: Curfew Time!

Dear Editrix,

With all of these hurricanes lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about curfews. I know that a curfew requires us to be in our homes during certain hours, but I’m wondering where the word came from.

Tense in Texas

Dear Tense,

What an interesting question. Indeed, a curfew is “a regulation requiring people to remain indoors between specified hours, typically at night.” As far as the etymology of this word, it’s pretty darn cool. You picked a good one!

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

curfew (n.)

early 14c., "evening signal, ringing of a bell at a fixed hour," from Anglo-French coeverfu (late 13c.), from Old French cuevrefeu, literally "cover fire" (Modern French couvre-feu), from cuevre, imperative of covrir "to cover" (see cover (v.)) + feu "fire" (see focus (n.)).

The medieval practice of ringing a bell at fixed time in the evening as an order to bank the hearths and prepare for sleep. The original purpose was to prevent conflagrations from untended fires. The modern extended sense of "periodic restriction of movement" had evolved by the 1800s.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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