Friday, November 20, 2009

APA 6th changes are mostly in the book itself

Which is good news for those afraid of the prospect of writing their dissertation or other project according to current APA style. But there are a few changes. Hmm, and why not follow one of the not-so-new rules myself here now: notice my two (2) spaces after that period up there. And right there! In fact, it's to be followed after all "ending punctuation." This is a returning rule of old and the one that'll save you the easiest money. It's something you can do yourself before submitting to an editor. Or not -- for mindless tasks have their place on our desktops as well as yours. Remember, more is less...(?!) As for why this reversion came about, well, none of us make the rules, we just inform them. Bye for now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

All new

Hello there. I'm heartened whenever I see ads these days using the adjective "all-new" with the hyphen as opposed to without it. Editors have had to wait years for this! And you know (of course!) never to let anyone tell you the hyphen is "graphically ugly," as did one musician when I asked him about the title of his album All America City. He said that, yes, I was correct, there should be a hyphen between "all" and "America" but that he thought it looked graphically ugly. Poor thing. The record is mighty fine, by the way. Motor Totemist Guild, the artist.

May try starting another blog on conspiracy for dummies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can government keep a secret?

Time for a little something different.

It's often said by those who scoff at conspiracy theories that one or the other major cover-up couldn't have happened because it would be too big a secret to be kept by and among frail humans. There would be a leak, etc.

1. Well, there are leaks. You can find these in many places, even intentional leaks, but so what? People go right along with their lives, figuring there was some good reason for having heard something unsettling. That they won't be affected. So things die down. Any smart conspirator has already thought all of this out. They know they can accept a few slip-ups and they have damage control techniques in place. One way to manage loose tongues or pens, among many, is a discrediting campaign for the offender; hardly anyone is inexpendable... Someone give me a recent example. On the other hand, right now in the major media, something called the New World Order is being admitted, sometimes with psychosemantic high-subtlety and sometimes with righteous directness.

2. Well, they can keep secrets. Just one example was the Manhattan Project. But did you know that the banking crisis was planned? If you do some googling, you'll find there were people who knew it was coming and was exactly manipulated. Those from whom it was kept a secret were you and me. Others were warning about it, but we weren't listening or weren't hearing. It was as good as secret to us. Now one good deterrent to divulgence is threat of death or loss of employment...

3. But another thing to consider: The burdensome "energy" of secret knowledge can be dispelled through speaking around the issues. When an official spokesperson is thrown to public or media scrutiny -- and I mean one to whom the secrets in question are vouchsafed -- he or she gets a chance, and the conspirators get the same chance by proxy, to "play with" the truth without revealing it. To engage it in apparent honesty (if they're good actors) and even to create new "truth" on the spot -- in other words, to mythologize or deceive. To spin. In this way, suspicion is addressed yet secrets are contained. The fact that some get too euphoric in their play, well...? That'll probably qualify them for anything from mild rebuke, to public apology, to the of course unfortunate accident from some 50-story window.

Just a little something different.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The common comma(?)

"Hello, Readers."

"Hi Noel."

Either will do, but the former is more formal...and thus less common. Each looks OK, though, doesn't it? And this is because some things in the world of words can take the lesson of art: in this case, omitting the comma for a greeting consisting of a mere two syllables "looks and feels right," indeed is accepted almost everywhere; whereas, as in "Hello, Readers," four syllables just seems to call out for a comma. See if you can get the feel of this basic artistic-literary intuition. But should you "feel" to go with no comma in that instance -- e.g., "Hello Clytemnestra" -- you should not be afraid to do so.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Check-in, typos, and [sic]

Well hello to alllll my many and multitudinous readers out there! And is there indeed a difference between "many" and "multitudinous"...? Only the few might hazard a guess. By the way, I'll try to catch these typos, but there are sometimes gonna be instances of multiple letters or characters in my posts, and this is due to the settings of the repeat speed on my new Dell laptop, which if I slowed down anymore would be aggravating but which manages to insert an extra character if I'm not VERY careful and nimble.

Also: In time, maybe more readers of this blog will be editors themselves and I'll post with their interest more in mind (although I myself have no desire at all to follow an editing blog). I could get into, for example, the ways whereby a well-written document takes the caring editor as long to finish as one that’s badly writtten (there's that speed-typo!), yet with a doc that’s very, very well-written, to the point where the editor almost questions his or her service to it, he/she just has a good ol' time, and even though he/she cares about the paper, the project gathers a breakaway speed and one is happily done in record time. Meanwhile, another Q & A from recently...

In some of the quotes you put sic, I apologize but I'm not familiar with that term. Would you clarify this for me, please?

That's Latin which writers or editors use when the word or phrase that comes before it is incorrect grammatically or, most likely, spelling-wise. We do it when we don't really have the right to change it ourselves, like in a quote, so we use [sic] to indicate "this was in the original and we're leaving as is." I suspect that some of your case-study quotations were transcribed wrongly, so you can probably fix a number of them yourself if you feel the authority.

Okey-doke, "everyone"? Bye for now. -NP

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Q & A...

Lifeliong Learner left a comment on one of the posts, asking the following:
Can you explain the proper use of dashes and hyphens?

Well now, sure I can, but trade secrets are hard to come by. Too much could be said about this subject so I'll restrict myself here.
Hyphens: They join words which, after a while, everyone sort of agrees should be joined. Often, those two words, "everyone" will later agree, should just go ahead and become closed up, and then you'll want to skip the hyphen and make one word out of two. Hyphens also are crucial in joining certain words on a case-by-case basis, but perhaps we'll get into adjectives and modifiers later. The little line on your keyboard after 0 (zero) is a hyphen. In the days of typewriters one would enter two of these consecutively to make a proper dash. So it would look like one longer line broken in the middle. This is still done, but in MS-Word you can go to Insert, Symbols and find the...
"Em Dash": Which gives you an even longer, and unbroken, line. This is what we mean by a good old regular dash -- something to separate one thought from another, usually in the manner of simple offsetting. Word will insert the em dash with no space on either end, following the trend for decades of saving space. What's interesting is how this appears to be changing recently. You can even see newspapers (who are always fussy about space) leaving a space on each end of the dash, thus giving the eye an easier, more opened-up journey along the page.
En Dash: Just time enough here to give a fun example of this shorter dash, the last most anyone will ever need to wrry about. This is also found in Insert, Symbol and usually is used for ranges -- for example, page ranges. Okay: "He took the Boston-New York flight." What, is there now a city called Boston-New? No. And even though we may all know what this one means, properly we need an en dash instead of that hyphen up there. Why? It has to do with the fact that New York is made of two words. If "he" took the Boston-Chicago flight, he'd arrive safely with the hyphen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Unnecessary words

Here's a classic case: "The reason why I did it was..." You don't need the "why." Another case using the same type of statement: "The reason for this is because..." Again, stick to reason, drop "because." It's redundant. You can substitute "that" for many examples. "The reason for this is that I..." If you like "why" or "because" (and what's not to like?), there are obviously ways of inserting them properly. Happy writing, everyone.