Tag: copyediting

The Oxford Comma Dilemma

The ‘Oxford comma‘ (aka the serial comma or the Harvard comma) is an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list: We sell books, videos, and magazines. It’s known as the Oxford comma because it was traditionally used by printers, readers, and editors at Oxford University Press. I use it almost every time in a series, unless

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Did I say that?

There are several words in our confusing language that either sound like another word, or we don’t hear it correctly and keep repeating it without knowing if we are using the correct word.  Here are a few: Hone: means to sharpen; it does not mean to home in on or converge.  He honed his computer

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Using the correct word

I am reminded from time to time when I see a tip that it is worth sharing. We Americans can get a bit sloppy when we speak, but it’s always best to write correctly. Run vs. Running scenario: a man skis to his workplace Incorrect:   – I go skiing to get to work. Tip:

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Is it “its” or “it’s?”

This is one of those simple applications of three letters that can cause some people to doubt their writing. You will find it misused in national advertising, television, blogs, and many printed materials.   I once used the following explanation for a woman who was caught up in whether “its” is a pronoun or not.

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