“That’s what we want to achieve—this sense of mutuality. Where we obliterate once and for all the illusion that we’re separate. No us and them. Just us. For there’s an idea that’s taken root in the world, it’s at the root of all that’s wrong with it and the idea would be this: that there just…
The structure of music might seem complex and mysterious, but many songs adhere to a simple, timeless pattern, says Jordan Hume. In a five minute piano lesson, he demonstrates the pattern of over 100 different songs, which he says run the gamut from country to hard rock. (Filmed at…
Benjamin Dreyer is the VP Executive Managing Editor & Copy Chief of Random House Publishing Group. Below is his list of the common stumbling blocks for authors, from A to X.
One buys antiques in an antiques store from an antiquesdealer; an antique store is a very old store.
He stayed awhile; he stayed for a while.
Besides is other than; beside is next to.
The singular of biceps is biceps; the singular of triceps is triceps. There’s no such thing as a bicep; there’s no such thing as a tricep.
A blond man, a blond woman; he’s a blond, she’s a blonde.
A capital is a city (or a letter, or part of a column); a capitol is a building.
Something centres on something else, not around it.
If you’re talking about a thrilling plot point, the word is climactic; if you’re discussing the weather, the word is climatic.
A cornet is an instrument; a coronet is a crown.
One emigrates from a place; one immigrates to a place.
The word is enmity, not emnity.
One goes to work every day, or nearly, but eating lunch is an everyday occurrence.
A flair is a talent; a flare is an emergency signal.
A flier is someone who flies planes; a flyer is a piece of paper.
Flower bed, not flowerbed.
Free rein, not free reign.
To garner is to accumulate, as a waiter garners tips; to garnish (in the non-parsley meaning) is to take away, as the government garnishes one’s wages; a garnishee is a person served with a garnishment; to garnishee is also to serve with a garnishment (that is, it’s a synonym for “to garnish”).
A gel is a jelly; it’s also a transparent sheet used in stage lighting. When Jell-O sets, or when one’s master plan takes final form, it either jells or gels (though I think the former is preferable).
Bears are grizzly; crimes are grisly. Cheap meat, of course, is gristly.
Coats go on hangers; planes go in hangars.
One’s sweetheart is “hon,” not “hun,” unless one’s sweetheart is Attila (not, by the way, Atilla) or perhaps Winnie-the-Pooh (note hyphens).
One insures cars; one ensures success; one assures people.
Lawn mower, not lawnmower.
The past tense of lead is led, not lead.
One loathes someone else but is loath to admit one’s distaste.
If you’re leeching, you’re either bleeding a patient with a leech or otherwise sucking someone’s or something’s lifeblood. If you’re leaching, you’re removing one substance from another by means of a percolating liquid (I have virtually no idea what that means; I trust that you do).
You wear a mantle; your fireplace has a mantel.
Masseurs are men; masseuses are women. Many otherwise extremely well educated people don’t seem to know this; I have no idea why. (These days they’re all called massage therapists anyway.)
The short version of microphone is still, so far as RH is concerned, mike. Not, ick, “mic.” [2009 update: I seem to be losing this battle. Badly. 2010 update: I’ve lost. Follow the author’s lead.]
There’s no such word as moreso.
Mucus is a noun; mucous is an adjective.
Nerve-racking, not -wracking; racked with guilt, not wracked with guilt.
One buys a newspaper at a newsstand, not a newstand.
An ordinance is a law; ordnance is ammo.
Palette has to do with colour; palate has to do with taste; a pallet is, among other things, something you sleep on. Eugene Pallette was a character actor; he’s particularly good in the 1943 film Heaven Can Wait.
Noun wise, a premier is a diplomat; a premiere is something one attends. “Premier” is also, of course, an adjective denoting quality.
That which the English call paraffin (as in “paraffin stove”), we Americans call kerosene. Copy editors should keep an eye open for this in mss. by British authors and query it. The term paraffin should generally be reserved for the waxy, oily stuff we associate with candles.
Prophecy is a noun; prophesy is a verb.
Per Web 11, it’s restroom.
The Sibyl is a seeress; Sybil is Basil Fawlty’s wife.
Please don’t mix somewhat and something into one murky modifier. A thing is somewhat rare, or it’s something of a rarity.
A tick bites; a tic is a twitch.
Tortuous is twisty, circuitous, or tricky; torturous is painful, or painfully slow.
Transsexual, not transexual.
Troops are military; troupes are theatrical.
A vice is depraved; a vise squeezes.
Vocal cords; strikes a chord.
A smart aleck is a wise guy; a mobster is a wiseguy.
“It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative.”—Aaron Swartz, a Data Crusader and Now, a Cause
Members and mentors of our team at CatalystsbyDesign are highly connected to several fellowships and programs throughout the United States. One fellowship includes StartingBloc, which equips young innovators, social entrepreneurs, and intrapraneurs on how to make their biggest,…
“I’ve always been pushing that envelope. I want to risk hitting my head on the ceiling of my talent. I want to really test it out and say: O.K., you’re not that good. You just reached the level here. I don’t ever want to fail, but I want to risk failure every time out of the gate.”—Quentin Tarantino Q&A w NYTIMES (via msg)
“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for the minds and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
”To begin to conceive of the possibility of a culture of empowered citizens making democracy work for them, real-life stories help — not models to adopt wholesale, but examples that capture key lessons. For me, the story of Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a rich trove of such lessons. Belo, a city of 2.5 million people, once had 11 percent of its population living in absolute poverty, and almost 20 percent of its children going hungry. Then in 1993, a newly elected administration declared food a right of citizenship. The officials said, in effect: If you are too poor to buy food in the market — you are no less a citizen. I am still accountable to you.” What follows is the story of how a city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something many places have yet to do: end hunger.
Commissioning and the Public Services (Social Value) Act.
Are you a 3rd sector organisation that is either in receipt of a public service contract or planning on moving into this area as a way to generate income? Then you are probably aware (and if you’re not - you need to be) of the new…