AmEditing

The absurd gems that one copy editor keeps out of print, or other editors fail to.
See more of my wordly hijinks at Logophilius.
The “See also” section of Wikipedia’s “Glossary of business and management terms” entry is a thing of truth and beauty.

The “See also” section of Wikipedia’s “Glossary of business and management terms” entry is a thing of truth and beauty.

You knew Albert Einstein was smart because he was so wrinkled.
Wizened means “dry, shrunken and wrinkled,” not “wise.”

You knew Albert Einstein was smart because he was so wrinkled.

Wizened means “dry, shrunken and wrinkled,” not “wise.”

You can criticize Mel Gibson for his hatred of semantics, but keep in mind that you’re no “road scholar” yourself.

You can criticize Mel Gibson for his hatred of semantics, but keep in mind that you’re no “road scholar” yourself.

You should be wary (think “beware”) of fire hazards.

Your readers, on the other hand, are weary (think “to wear down”) of your tenuous grasp on the English language.

KISS Principle

We’ll even assist you with filling out financial aid applications …

How about this instead?

We’ll even help you fill out financial aid applications …

Keep it as clear and simple as possible.

"…is in need of…"

needs, requires, demands, expects, insists on, threatens mass destruction if he doesn’t soon receive … anything but yet another “is” in the predicate. Please!

Whenever you find yourself in an argument over whether the plural of octopus is octopi or octopuses, you’re wrong. It’s octopodes.

If you find yourself typing “gratefulness,” stop and give it a second thought.

(And feel free to show your gratitude for this editorial gem.)

Your use of “prior to” comes before I edit the phrase out.

Please remember the difference between ordinance and ordnance. You can complain about both at a town council meeting, but only an ordinance should be brought to the meeting.

I’d like a pseudo- on bi- with a side of onion re-s.
What they mean (I hope) is prix fixe, which is pronounced a lot like “prefix” but is something entirely different. It means “fixed price” in English, which makes me wonder whether I shouldn’t start haggling over the price of any meal that isn’t marked prix fixe.

I’d like a pseudo- on bi- with a side of onion re-s.

What they mean (I hope) is prix fixe, which is pronounced a lot like “prefix” but is something entirely different. It means “fixed price” in English, which makes me wonder whether I shouldn’t start haggling over the price of any meal that isn’t marked prix fixe.

You ever meet a religious nut who just seems, well, kind of dizzy? Now we know why. (There but for the grace of God spin I.)

You ever meet a religious nut who just seems, well, kind of dizzy? Now we know why. (There but for the grace of God spin I.)

The wonderful Acknowledgments page from Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory’s Crown of Vengeance.

The wonderful Acknowledgments page from Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory’s Crown of Vengeance.