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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Pet Peeves: From the E Entries in Garbl's Editorial Style Manual

Here's the fifth in my alphabetical series of pet peeves -- from entries in the E section of Garbl's Editorial Style Manual. My style manual covers editorial issues like  abbreviations, addresses, capitalization, English grammar, Internet terminology, numbers, plurals, possessives, punctuation, spelling and word usage. It focuses on U.S. standards for spelling, punctuation, definitions, usage, style and grammar. 
Earlier blogs: 

e- Lowercase the e (unless it begins a sentence or heading) and include the hyphen in terms like e-booke-businesse-commerce and e-reader. But do not include a hyphen inemail. See email. 

each and every (one) Wordy and trite. Use either each or every (one).

each other, one another Two people look at each other. Three or more people look atone another. Either phrase may be used when the number is indefinite: Group members help each other. Group members help one another. Add 's to make these plural terms possessive: each other's guitars, one another's hands

e.g., i.e. Quickly, what are the Latin words for the abbreviation e.g.? Don't know? Then don't use e.g. Use English instead. Same for i.e. Both abbreviations are overused and often confused.

The abbreviation e.g. is the abbreviation for exempli gratia, a Latin phrase meaning "for example." The abbreviation i.e. is the abbreviation for id est, a Latin phrase meaning "that is." I.e. rephrases or clarifies the words that come before it. But even if you know Latin, simplify when writing in English! Unless you must use Latin in pompous scientific or academic documents, use for example and that is.

Commas or semicolons usually go before the Latin and English forms, and commas usually follow both. Or phrases containing the abbreviations may be contained in parentheses.

elderly Use this word carefully and sparingly. It is suitable in generic phrases that don't refer to specific people: support for elderly people, programs for the elderly. Try older and phrases like older person or people in their 70s and older instead. Apply the same principles to terms such as senior citizen.

email A shortened version of electronic mail. OK to use email (no hyphen, lowercase) in all references, including first. Capitalize as Email only to begin sentences, headings and headlines. Include a hyphen for words like e-booke-business and e-commerce.

Acceptable to use as a verb: Jennifer Lopez emailed her phone number to Gary. When used alone as a noun, email refers to email in bulk. It takes singular verbs and singular pronouns: He got so much email it overloaded his in-box. All her email was about the construction project. 

When writing about email messages, it's acceptable to refer to an email and several emailsShe wrote an email telling friends about her new email address. He read eight emails about the project. 

embattled Save this word for describing brave troops ready for battle or already battling in a terrible war. For the politicians who sent them there or other people, companies and organizations having problems, try attacked, troubled or harassed.

emigrate/emigrant, immigrate/immigrant Often confused or misspelled. An emigrant leaves or emigrates from or out of one country to live in another. An immigrant moves into or immigrates to another country to live there. Memory tips: Emigrate=Exit;Immigrate=Into. Emigrate/emigrant=from or out (of); immigrate/immigrant=to or in(to). An immigrant in the United States may be an emigrant from Norway.

endeavor (v.) Overstated and formal. Simplify. Replace with try or carry out.

end product Redundant and wordy. Simplify. Try product instead.

end result The end result of using this phrase is one extra word, one extra syllable, three extra letters and no extra meaning. Simplify, drop the redundant end.

ensure, insure Commonly confused, though ensure is usually the correct choice. Use ensure to mean guarantee or make certain of something, or try using simpler be sure or make sure. Use insure for references to insurance.

et al. Abbreviation for et alibi or et alii, meaning "and elsewhere" or "and others." You're probably writing in English, so avoid using this abbreviation for Latin words. And be specific, if possible. Et al. may be used in technical reports as a reference citation: Light rail uses 34 BTUs of energy (Healy, et al., 1984).

etc. Abbreviation for et cetera, a Latin phrase meaning "and other things," "and so on," "and so forth," "and the rest." It's used for things, not people; the Latin et al. is the correct abbreviation for mentioning people. But avoid using the abbreviations; except for charts and tables, use the simpler English words instead. Also, don't use etc. if introducing a list with for example or such as. And if you must use etc., don't precede it with a redundant and. List at least two things before etc., and set it off with commas at both ends (unless it ends a sentence).

euphemisms Avoid substituting vague, unnecessary, sometimes misleading euphemisms for clear, simple words: tax increase, not revenue enhancementdied, not passed away;disabled, not differently abledfired, not terminatedcrashcollision or accident, not unintended impactI or we, not this office or this company. Call things by their most common names.

everyone, every one, everybody Everyone and everybody are interchangeable, though everyone is used more often. Use every one to refer to each individual item: Every one of the stocks was worthless. Use everyone (or everybody) as a pronoun meaning "all people": Everyone supported the proposal. Everyone and everybody take singular verbs and pronouns: Everyone is expected to do his or her part. Some writers use plural pronouns to avoid awkward or sexist use of singular pronouns, but it's still considered ungrammatical: Everyone is expected to do their part.

exclamation point (!) Use sparingly and only to express a high degree of surprise, disbelief or other strong emotion. The exclamation point goes within the quotation marks when it applies to the quoted matter only.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke."

excessive number of Wordy. Simplify. Replace with too many.

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