Saturday, October 25, 2008

Welcome to Kathy Ide!

We're pleased and thrilled to announce that editor and writer Kathy Ide will join us here at Pix-N-Pens as a weekly columnist. Her posts will appear each Friday, and at first, she'll help us polish the PUGS in our writing, and later on, she'll share other editing advice, tips, and leads for freelance writers.

I'm posting Kathy's first article here today, but look for her column regularly on Fridays.

Pixels, please give Kathy a big WELCOME!!


In this column, freelance author, editor, and speaker Kathy Ide shares tips on Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling (“PUGS”). She also explains why it’s important for writers to polish their PUGS.

Each article in this column will address one item in each area.

For more PUGS Pointers, see Kathy Ide’s Web site. Or purchase her book Polishing the PUGS here.

PUGS Pointers are based on the current industry-standard references in the United States.

For books:

The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition, © 2003)
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition, © 2003)

For articles:

The Associated Press Stylebook (© 2004)
Webster’s New World College Dictionary (© 2002)

Many publishing houses have their own in-house style guides that may differ in some aspects from the standard references. However, unless you’re writing exclusively for one particular publisher, it’s best to follow the standard references and let the in-house proofreaders adjust to house style.


Literary agent Richard Curtis wrote (in The Christian Communicator, June 2001):
It was not long ago that the prevailing attitude among editors was, “This book has some problems, but the author is so talented that I’d like to buy it and work with him.” Today such words are rarely heard. A book with problems is a book rejected.

Editors receive so many manuscripts from so many authors every day, they can afford to reject them for the most miniscule reasons. Don’t let PUGS errors cause your manuscript to be rejected!


Capitalization of Family Relationships

“Kinship names” (father, brother, etc.) are lowercased when used generically (“the youngest mother in the group,” for example) or when preceded by a modifier (“my dad,” “your mom,” “our brother,” etc.).

When used before a proper name, or alone in place of the name, kinship names are capitalized.


“I know that Mother’s middle name is Janice.”
“Will Aunt Becky be singing?”
“Will her uncle Ed be at the book signing?”
“Hey, Dad, are we going fishing today?”

(See The Chicago Manual of Style, Rule #8.39 and The Associated Press Stylebook, page 91-92.)


any more/anymore

any more (adjective) means “any additional.”
“I don’t want to hear any more backtalk from you!” hollered Cindy.

anymore (adverb) means “any longer.”
“I don’t want to listen to you anymore,” cried Linda.

NOTE: Adjectives modify nouns. Adverbs modify adjectives, adverbs, or verbs.


each other vs. one another

Use each other when referring to two.
“Angie and Gwen discussed the book with each other.”

Use one another when referring to more than two.
“The critique group members discussed their manuscripts with one another.”


good-bye (with a hyphen) if you’re writing books (or short stories that will be included in books).

goodbye (without a hyphen) if you’re writing articles (for magazines, newspapers, or most newsletters).


Kathy Ide has been a published author/coauthor/ghostwriter of books, articles, play and movie scripts, short stories, devotionals, and curriculum since 1988. She is a full-time freelance editor/proofreader for aspiring writers, established authors, commercial book publishers, subsidy publishers, and magazines. She also speaks at writers conferences across the country. She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network. To find out more, please visit her Web site.

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Jingle said...

I am a grammar junkie and I love these tips! Thanks!

Sunny said...

Great tips! I'm horrible with things like any more vs anymore.

Stephanie Craig said...

I am so excited about this addition to pixnpens. I will definately check out the new column every Friday for advice.

Brenda Nixon said...

I love Kathy Ide. She probably doesn't remember me, but I sat in on one of her workshops at Glorieta when I was faculty there about 4 years ago. Even though I'd been a writer for some 10 years, Kathy taught me a thing or two. She's wonderful, knowledgeable, and an all round nice lady. :-) Glad you invited her as your guest.

oona said...

I liked the tip about goodbye vs. good-bye and the proper ways to use each!

Thanks for the giveaway!

rebecca said...

There are some great tips in this post. I loved the punctuation section. It seems like we are losing our language... Thanks for this!

gitrecca (at) gmail (dot) com

nina.rockz at gmail .com said...

I agree that PUGS are very important. My grammar and spelling are usually pretty much flawless, but my punctuation? Not so much!

Ginny said...

I loved these tips. Thanks for sharing and welcome to this blog!

Cathy Davis said...

The older I've gotten, the less impressive my grammar and spelling have become. I'm going to bookmark this post and come back when I need help!!

ikkinlala said...

I really like this post, and I'm looking forward to Kathy's column. A lot of things I knew, but the spelling tip is new to me.

hazel said...

I love the tips. I make some of those mistakes all the time.

CanCan said...

Hmmm, I never even realized there were two different ways to write "anymore/any more". I feel kind of dumb now.

onlycancan at hotmail dot com

Nicole said...

I like that you are having guests join the blog! A great learning/teaching tool.

~Tami said...

I'm not a writer, but I like spelling and grammar tips. I didn't know the good-bye one.

Tiff said...

WOW thanks for those tips. I never new about the rule about "Anymore"