“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
― Franz Kafka
“Do you want to get ahead (one word) or are you cooking an esoteric dish and want to get a head (two words)? That one little space can make a big difference in meaning: Either you are moving past others in business or you are purchasing a skull…..
When it comes to pairs such as “apart” with no space and “a part” with a space, the spelling doesn’t matter when you’re talking; both sound the same. When you write the words, however, you might forget to add a space, or you might add an unnecessary one. This problem crops up with all kinds of words, but in this episode we’re focusing on words beginning with the letter “a.”
Here’s a short list of pairs like “ahead” and “a head”: “alight” and “a light,” “abuzz” and “a buzz,” “apart” and “a part,” and, lastly, “ahold” and “a hold.” As you can see from this list, the one-worders beginning with “a” can be various parts of speech: “ahead” is an adverb, “alight” is a verb,” and “abuzz” is an adjective. The two-worders, on the other hand, consist of an article—the word “a”—and a noun: “light,” “buzz,” “part,” and “hold.” True, these words can sometimes be verbs, but when something follows the article “a,” it’s a noun (unless something such as an adjective comes between the article and the noun, as in “a delicious cake”).
Let’s see these four pairs in action. The first two—“alight”/“a light” and “abuzz”/“a buzz”—are the easy ones. You could say, “That annoying bee wants to alight on my nose.” This means the bee wants to land on your nose, and there’s no space in “alight.” If you say, “He turned on a light”—with a space—that means he was no longer enveloped in darkness.
In keeping with the bee theme, here’s our next example: “I heard a buzz.” A quick test for those listening: Is there a space or not? Well, yes, there is! “A buzz” with a space means “a buzzing noise.” “Abuzz” with no space is an adjective that means alive with activity, as in “The room became abuzz when the grammarian entered.”
To read the entire article from Grammar Girl, click here.
“Style guides disagree on which words to capitalize in a title (of a book, article, essay, movie, song, or video game). Here’s a basic guide to the two most common methods: sentence case and title case….
There’s not a single set of rules for capitalizing words in a title. For most of us, it’s a matter of selecting one convention and sticking to it. The big decision is whether to go with sentence case (simple) or title case (a little less simple).
Capitalize only the first word of the title and any proper nouns: “Rules for capitalizing the words in a title.” This form, recommended by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for titles in reference lists, is popular with many online and print publications. In fact it’s now the standard form for titles and headlines in most countries–but not (yet) in the United States.
Capitalize the first and last words of the title and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, and so on): “Rules for Capitalizing the Words in a Title.”
It’s the little words that style guides disagree on. The Chicago Manual of Style, for instance, notes that “articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor), and prepositions, regardless of length, are lowercased unless they are the first or last word of the title.”
But The Associated Press Stylebook is fussier:
Other guides say that prepositions and conjunctions of fewer than five letters should be in lowercase—except at the beginning or end of a title. (For additional guidelines, see the glossary entry for title case.)
So pick a form—any form. And then try to be consistent.”
“As an editor, I have heard horror stories about authors who didn’t know how to process the edits they received back from their editors. Instead of asking what to do with the Word document, [caution, you’re going to scream] some of the authors printed the full manuscript, compared item by item, then RETYPED the entire manuscript.
Don’t let this be you.
Firstly, your editor is on your TEAM. An editor wants you to succeed. And even though you may feel like we are all jackals, we don’t really bite. Ask us questions—especially when you feel overwhelmed or uncertain.”— Billi Joy Carson / Senior Editor, Editing Addict
EDITOR Sends Completed File Back to AUTHOR:
THE AUTHOR’S JOB:
1. READ through document
2. CHOOSE FROM (to accept and/or reject changes)
a. Accept All Changes in Document
b. Accept and Move to Next
c. Reject All Changes in Document
d. Reject and Move to Next
3. SHORTCUT for authors
a. Save TWO* versions of the file you received from your editor.
i. File A [edits accepted]
1. In Word Doc, under REVIEW tab [File A]
2. Select Accept All Changes in Document [File A]
ii. File B [edits visible]
1. Leave the file the way you received from the editor
b. Read through File A side-by-side with File B
i. If you find an edit you don’t want
1. In File B
a. Under REVIEW tab [File B]
b. Select Reject and Move to Next [File B]
ii. When you are finished reading File A, and correcting File B,
1. In File B
a. Under REVIEW tab [File B]
b. Select Accept All Changes in Document [File B]
c. File B is now fully edited, and author approved
Still have questions? Leave a comment below, or send a message to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org. Teamwork brings success!
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